White House Rejects Invitation To Participate In Impeachment Hearings

After arguing for a month about an "unfair" impeachment process, the WHite House is saying 'no thanks' to an invitation to participate in the next round of impeachment hearings.

After being invited by the House Judiciary Committee to send representatives to, and participate in, the committee’s first round of impeachment hearings set to begin, President Trump’s White House Counsel has told Congressman Jerrold Nadler, the Chairman of the Committee, that they would not be participating:

As the impeachment inquiry moves into a critical week, President Trump and his Republican allies are debating the degree to which the president should participate in a process they have spent more than two months attacking.

On Sunday evening, White House counsel Pat A. Cipollone told the House Judiciary Committee in a five-page letter that Trump would not participate in its first impeachment hearing, scheduled for Wednesday. The invitation from Chairman Jerrold Nadler “does not begin to provide the President with any semblance of a fair process,” Cipollone wrote.

Four constitutional scholars — three chosen by Democrats, one by Republicans — are expected to testify on the standards for impeachment. Nadler (D-N.Y.) told Trump he had until 6 p.m. Sunday to notify the committee that he or his attorneys would attend; he has given Trump until Friday to decide whether to participate more broadly in the impeachment process.

On Sunday, Democrats called on the White House to cooperate, suggesting an innocent person would have no problem testifying.
“We’re certainly hoping that the president, his counsel, will take advantage of that opportunity if he has not done anything wrong,” Rep. Val Demings (D-Fla.) said on ABC News’s “This Week.” “We’re certainly anxious to hear his explanation of that.”

But there is a conflict inside the GOP over the extent to which Trump and his congressional defenders ought to engage, even as Republicans signaled they will continue their aggressive campaign to delegitimize the process as corrupt and unfair.

Speaking on “Fox News Sunday,” Rep. Douglas A. Collins (Ga.), the top Republican on the Judiciary Committee, said he understood why the White House might want to skip the Wednesday hearing, calling it “just another rerun” covering ground already surveyed in previous Judiciary Committee hearings.

“This is a complete American waste of time right here,” he said.
But he added that Republicans would be more keen to participate in future hearings — particularly one examining the findings of the House Intelligence Committee as prepared by its chairman, Rep. Adam B. Schiff (D-Calif.).

Other Republican lawmakers said Trump could benefit from availing himself of the due-process protections that Nadler has offered, including the right to present evidence, suggest wit­nesses and cross-examine those called by Democrats to testify.

Rep. Tom McClintock (R-Calif.), a Judiciary Committee member, said on “This Week” that he thought it “would be to the president’s advantage” to have counsel participate in the upcoming hearings. “But I can also understand how he is upset at the illegitimate process that we saw unfold in the Intelligence Committee,” he said.

The president did not address the issue himself Sunday. He sent two tweets about World AIDS Day in the early afternoon and spent a second day in a row at his golf course in West Palm Beach, Fla., after returning early Friday from a Thanksgiving visit to U.S. troops in Afghanistan.

In the past, however, Trump has suggested that he would like to participate. Last month, he said he would “love” for several senior administration officials to testify in the impeachment inquiry, but he contended the White House was preventing them from doing so to protect the institution of the presidency.

“The D.C. Wolves and Fake News Media are reading far too much into people being forced by Courts to testify before Congress,” Trump said in a tweet on Nov. 26. “I am fighting for future Presidents and the Office of the President. Other than that, I would actually like people to testify.”

As I noted when the Judiciary Committee first announced these hearings last week, the amount of participation they were offering the White House was historically unique and certainly quite different from the manner in which Judiciary Committee impeachment hearings were conducted in the past. Neither the Nixon impeachment hearings in 1974 nor the Clinton impeachment hearings in 1998 were open to the White House in this manner. Had they been, I am sure that both Presidents would have jumped at the opportunity to use the hearings to push back against the prevailing narrative of the proceedings. Passing up the offer that was made here seems unwise to me, but then there’s a lot that comes out of this White House that seems unwise.

The irony of all of this, of course, is that the rejection of this offer to participate comes in the wake of a month in which the White House and its defenders on Capitol Hill spent a considerable amount of time attacking the process that the House Intelligence Committee was engaging in. As I have noted in the past, though, those claims of procedural unfairness are by and large a load of nonsense.

Contrary to the claims of the White House, many GOP members of Congress, and the conservative media, an impeachment inquiry is not a criminal proceeding or even a criminal investigation. Additionally, this talk of “due process” is utter nonsense and completely misplaced. If anything the current process is analogous to a Grand Jury proceeding, which is generally closed to the public and to the subject of the investigation. With the exception of some states where the application of the subject of an investigation to testify before the Grand Jury is permitted by court rules, neither the subject of an investigation nor their attorney are permitted to participate in the Grand Jury’s deliberations.

Even that analogy is inexact though since, unlike a Grand Jury, the hearings in this matter, with the exception of the deposition of witnesses, which the Intelligence Committee eventually made public, are taking place in public and being broadcast live on television.. In any case, there is no requirement for giving the White House access to the proceedings as some have demanded, and the Judiciary Committee was being especially generous in giving the White House the opportunity to participate. This is especially true given the fact that Republican Members of Congress are in the room for these hearings and able to ask their own questions. The manner in which hearings are taking place in this impeachment inquiry are following standard Congressional procedure. The process is proceeding in the same manner they did during Watergate, during the Iran-Contra investigation, and during the endless hearings that House Republicans held on the Benghazi “investigation.” This entire concentration on the phony issue of “due process” is an effort to distract from the fact that, particularly after the public hearings held by the Intelligence Committee, the facts are looking very bad for this President and that, like it or not, impeachment is basically inevitable.

There’s an old lawyer’s adage that when the facts are against you, you argue the law and when the law is against you, you argue the facts. We’re now at the point where both the facts and the law are against the Republicans and against the President. In response, they are simply arguing and seeking to distract pubic attention from what matters with phony arguments about “due process” and personal attacks against the leaders of the investigation. This merely demonstrates that they have nothing left to argue.

Here’s the letter from the White House Counsel to the Judiciary Committee:

White House Letter to Judic… by Doug Mataconis on Scribd

FILED UNDER: Donald Trump, Impeachment, US Politics,
Doug Mataconis
About Doug Mataconis
Doug holds a B.A. in Political Science from Rutgers University and J.D. from George Mason University School of Law. He joined the staff of OTB in May 2010. Before joining OTB, he wrote at Below The BeltwayThe Liberty Papers, and United Liberty Follow Doug on Twitter | Facebook

Comments

  1. OzarkHillbilly says:

    Took the words right out of my mouth:

    There’s an old lawyer’s adage that when the facts are against you, you argue the law and when the law is against you, you argue the facts. We’re now at the point where both the facts and the law are against the Republicans and against the President. In response, they are simply arguing and seeking to distract pubic attention from what matters with phony arguments about “due process” and personal attacks against the leaders of the investigation. This merely demonstrates that they have nothing left to argue.

    Yep, pounding the table and yelling.

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  2. KM says:

    Of course there’s nothing left to argue – it’s going to come down to pure party loyalty at this point. The entire reason for whipping up the base is to remind all the Senators he owns theoretically leads is that the base will come for them if they don’t protect him. If you don’t save his ass, it’s yours. Participating in a legal venture serves no benefit when you are using extra-legal methods of persuasion to make your case.

    The Cult is all Trump has left – his last line of defense. But he’s invested heavily in it and it might yet pay off incredible dividends to him. The Constitution won’t save him, the law puts him in the wrong, the principles of democracy demands he be held accountable, common sense tells him he’s screwed. Only his Cult can stand up to all this and go, “Naw bro, we good. He’s the Chosen One giving us the goodies, you know? Walk on” The Cult doesn’t want to see their Hero in boring committee hearings – they want drama and insults and tweets and helicopter talks with big ole’ sharpie notes that trigger libs!

    If nothing else, Trump knows what his people crave….

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  3. Kathy says:

    Some more content-free messaging from The Grand Cheeto.

    We know anything short of abject flattery is terrible, holding him to account is unfair, and naturally pointing out his criminal actions is illegal and illegitimate. I’m just surprised he’s using multi-syllabic words for a change.

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  4. CSK says:

    Seriously, how could Trump participate in this process? He is–dare I say it–constitutionally incapable of telling the truth. His lawyers know that; it’s why they wouldn’t permit him to speak to Mueller.

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  5. andros says:

    Here’s the bottom line: Having filled the air with claims that Trump is a Russian operative, most voters aren’t going to take you seriously. They know you have been obsessed with contriving a pretext for impeachment since the day he was elected. Your open contempt and disdain for the time-honored values of Middle America does little to enhance your credibility.

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  6. mattbernius says:

    @andros:

    the time-honored values of Middle America

    You keep repeating this phrase and I’m really curious about what these are and how those are so different from the time-honored values of the rest of America.

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  7. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @andros:

    Your open contempt and disdain for the time-honored values of Middle America does little to enhance your credibility.

    Speaking as one who hails from middle America, I am really interested in what you think our “time honored values” are, and how it is that trump honors them.

    Please, enlighten me.

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  8. sam says:

    @andros:

    Your open contempt and disdain for the time-honored values of Middle America does little to enhance your credibility

    As opposed to the president’s displays of honoring those values, which include, I suppose, truthfulness, marital fidelity, not cheating at golf, and minimal use of hair spray.

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  9. DrDaveT says:

    @mattbernius:

    You keep repeating this phrase and I’m really curious about what these are and how those are so different from the time-honored values of the rest of America.

    Until he offers a concrete example of his own, I’m going to assume he means “hating on brown people”. You have to admit, we have indeed shown “open contempt and disdain” for that particular “value”.

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  10. Daryl and his brother Darryl says:

    @andros:
    Oh boy, let’s take these one at a time, J-nos.

    Having filled the air with claims that Trump is a Russian operative, most voters aren’t going to take you seriously.

    Operative, agent, asset, all have specific meanings. I do not think anyone has accused Trump of being sharp enough to actually be an operative, or covert agent, of the Russian Government. The record proves he is an asset of the Russian Government, whether wittingly or unwittingly…as are you and many other Republicans who spend their days repeating Russian propaganda. BTW…no one thinks you are sharp enough to be an operative, either.

    They know you have been obsessed with contriving a pretext for impeachment since the day he was elected.

    Trump is an un-indicted co-conspirator in election fraud, to which his personal attorney pled guilty to and is serving time. Mueller, appointed by a bi-partisan Congressional vote, documented no less than 10 instances of obstruction of justice by Trump. It also documented 200+ instances of collusion between the Trump Campaign and Russia, but could not prove conspiracy, likely because of the above mentioned Obstruction. And since then, Trump has admitted to bribing the President of Ukraine. So I do not think that word, contriving, means what you think it means.

    Your open contempt and disdain for the time-honored values of Middle America does little to enhance your credibility.

    This is typically vague enough that you will be able to move the goalposts all over the place as you always do. Just the same;
    Middle America is typically defined by agriculture and industry labor. Trump is decimating the family farm, even as he doles out a very socialistic $28B in aid due to his failing tariffs. Is socialism a Middle American value? He has done nothing for Industry Labor, something Republicans have fought against, tooth and nail, for decades. Middle American wages are flat. Middle American job growth has slowed under Trump.
    Middle Americans are typically defined by hard work. Trump inherited his wealth, and screwed people who worked for him, at a legendary level. He also hired entire towns of illegal immigrants to build his golf courses, instead of Middle Americans.
    Middle America is also typically defined by family values. Trump has been married three times, and cheated on every single one of his wives. He has admitted to serial sexual assault.
    J-nos, you are a poster child for the Dunning Kruger effect.

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  11. Teve says:

    Kevin M. Kruse
    @KevinMKruse
    ·
    14h
    Wow, it’s almost like all those complaints about not being able to participate in the earlier sessions were made in bad faith. Almost.

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  12. Daryl and his brother Darryl says:

    The morbidly obese guy that sends out pictures of his head photoshopped onto a buff boxers body…refuses to enter the ring.
    Shocking….

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  13. mattbernius says:

    @Daryl and his brother Darryl:

    Oh boy, let’s take these one at a time, J-nos.

    FWIW, unless he’s operating two sock puppet accounts, I really don’t think Andros is who you think he is. Admittedly, I do have suspicions about another current commenter.

    However, ultimately, I side with Steven that I don’t see anything productive in playing those guessing games.

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  14. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @mattbernius:

    However, ultimately, I side with Steven that I don’t see anything productive in playing those guessing games.

    Can’t be any worse than responding to him.

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  15. Neil Hudelson says:

    @andros:

    Hi. Middle American here. Can you explain to me what my values are, specifically the ones Democrats are violating? I noticed it’s been an hour since you posted about Middle American values, so I’m sure you’ve had time to come up with some.

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  16. Kathy says:

    Since we’re already in December and the New Year is close, I suggest as a resolution for next year: starve the trolls.

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  17. rachel says:

    …the amount of participation they were offering the White House was historically unique and certainly quite different from the manner in which Judiciary Committee impeachment hearings were conducted in the past.

    Why wouldn’t they? It’s not like Boss Tweet was ever going to avail himself of their kind offer because he can’t not tell a lie, and it takes that talking point away from him.

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  18. Michael Reynolds says:

    Republicans are not ‘pounding the table,’ they are deliberately lying. They are deliberately spreading what they know to be the Kremlin’s propaganda line. This isn’t showmanship, these are traitors. The equivalent is not F. Lee Bailey strutting around a courtroom, the equivalent would be cheering on the planes that hit the World Trade Center on 911.

    That’s who Republicans are. That’s who our resident culties are. Traitors.

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  19. mattbernius says:

    @Neil Hudelson:

    I noticed it’s been an hour since you posted about Middle American values, so I’m sure you’ve had time to come up with some.

    He’s used the phrase at least twice times before, and when asked both times he has yet to actually spell them out.

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  20. Teve says:

    Thor Benson
    @thor_benson
    ·
    15h
    Trump: They won’t let me defend myself!

    Nadler: You can defend yourself

    Trump: No.

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  21. Kurtz says:

    @andros:

    I will also, once again, call for your explanation of the values you speak of but never specify. I asked you last week and got crickets. Maybe you didn’t see it…

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  22. Kathy says:

    @Kurtz:

    What? You’ve never heard a dog whistle before?

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  23. andros says:

    Rejection of “income equality” redistribution schemes, urged with a view to harvesting votes from the Dependent Classes. Rejection of the notion that we hold the American Dream in trust for the world’s impoverished, unskilled masses, eager to partake of our welfare largesse. Respect of law enforcement officers. Contempt of those who spit upon, burn, or otherwise desecrate the Flag. Respect for religious belief. Spewing your loathing of such values, in displays of moral exhibitionism, is going to get you 5 more years of Trump.

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  24. Neil Hudelson says:

    @andros:

    Rejection of “income equality” redistribution schemes, urged with a view to harvesting votes from the Dependent Classes. Rejection of the notion that we hold the American Dream in trust for the world’s impoverished, unskilled masses, eager to partake of our welfare largesse.

    I have a friend who often gets into spats on facebook and twitter, wherein he usually spits out a not-fully-formed thought and, predictably, gets asked to explain it. Once or twice he’ll fess up with something along the lines of “You know, that’s a good point I hadn’t considered, but here’s why I said what I said…”

    Those interactions are great, as you can see someone’s mind fully at work.

    Usually, however, he sees the pushback as an implication that he’s not smart, and he goes full word salad. I can never figure out if he’s deliberately trying to obscure his point, or (more likely) he thinks complexity-for-complexity’s sake is how ‘smart’ people write. On the contrary, the smartest writers I encounter use clear, concise language.*

    I always recommend to him, as I will to you, that he read’s Orwell’s “Politics and the English Language.” It would do you good.

    *A good example: a better writer than I could probably have edited this comment down to one sentence.

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  25. Michael Reynolds says:

    @andros:

    Rejection of “income equality” redistribution schemes, urged with a view to harvesting votes from the Dependent Classes.

    “Dependant classes” is of course dog whistle for brown people.

    Rejection of the notion that we hold the American Dream in trust for the world’s impoverished, unskilled masses, eager to partake of our welfare largesse.

    Nativism.

    Respect of law enforcement officers.

    Fascism, and also bullshit since half of these asswipes claim tyhey need guns to protect themselves from the police. What @andros means is that black people should stop objecting to being targeted.

    Contempt of those who spit upon, burn, or otherwise desecrate the Flag.

    Yes, of course, the most superficial forms of ‘patriotism’ from a Russian mouthpiece.

    Respect for religious belief.

    Conformity to white evangelical Christian notions of religion. This ‘respect’ does not of course extend to Muslims.

    Spewing your loathing of such values, in displays of moral exhibitionism, is going to get you 5 more years of Trump.

    And of course it’s all the fault of liberals.

    So: Racism, nativism, fascism, religious bigotry, Russian propaganda and a threat. Ladies and Gentlemen: Cult45.

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  26. Teve says:

    @Neil Hudelson:

    the Dependent Classes

    Why does Andros hate famers?

    Weird additional fact: the poorest county in America, Owsley County Kentucky, is 98.7% white.

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  27. Neil Hudelson says:

    @andros:

    Rejection of “income equality” redistribution schemes

    Here in rural, farming Indiana, I have to admit it doesn’t really look like farmers are rejecting Trump’s $28 Billion farmer bailout. Indeed, most are glad to have the $5K check to offset the disaster inflicted on them by the never ending trade war. I’m guessing you aren’t from “middle America” if you think farmers are rejecting Trump’s farm handouts, which he is doing to ensure they continue to vote for him. But, I am glad to hear you calling this out. I didn’t expect consistency from you, but I am happy to recognize it and applaud it when I see it.

    Rejection of the notion that we hold the American Dream in trust for the world’s impoverished, unskilled masses, eager to partake of our welfare largesse.

    Again, do you have evidence farmers are rejecting/not eager to partake in the welfare offered to them? Because every farmer I know is gladly accepting the farm bailout, in the hopes it helps them live to see another day.

    Respect of law enforcement officers.

    Ah, yes, that respect for law enforcement that’s oh so important for us Middle Americans.

    Contempt of those who spit upon, burn, or otherwise desecrate the Flag.

    There are Democratic Presidential Primary Candidates who are advocating for spitting upon, burning, or otherwise desecrating the Flag?

    Can you provide evidence, Andros? And in a timely manner, or are we going to have to remind you of this everytime you post here?

    Respect for religious belief.

    This type of respect for religious belief, Andros?

    Or did you mean this type of respect?

    Or, like above, did you actually mean Middle Americans (TM) were probably going to reject the candidate calling for a “complete shutdown” for entry of of anyone following the Islamic faith?

    Again, clearer language helps you, my friend. Because–and this will probably be a real shocker for you–it seems like Trump is violating just about every value you say is important to us “Middle Americans.”

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  28. EddieInCA says:

    @andros:

    F**k you! Here you go, point by point.

    andros says:
    Monday, December 2, 2019 at 12:30

    Rejection of “income equality” redistribution schemes, urged with a view to harvesting votes from the Dependent Classes.

    Serioiusly? Farm Bailouts. What is that, if not a redistribution scheme? How about Corn subsidies? More redistribution.

    Rejection of the notion that we hold the American Dream in trust for the world’s impoverished, unskilled masses, eager to partake of our welfare largesse.

    “Keep, ancient lands, your storied pomp!” cries she
    With silent lips. “Give me your tired, your poor,
    Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free,
    The wretched refuse of your teeming shore.
    Send these, the homeless, tempest-tost to me,
    I lift my lamp beside the golden door!”

    From the Statute of Liberty.

    Respect of law enforcement officers.

    Again. Serioiusly? Have you seen how Trump has treated the US Armed forces, the FBI, the CIA? He just pardoned three war criminals, against the advice of the Pentagon. He’s undermining the rule of law with the most important of Law Enforcement officers. He’s completely politicized the DOJ, and has an Attorney General acting as his consigliere. Only a #Cult45 member would say he’s supporting law enforcement.

    Contempt of those who spit upon, burn, or otherwise desecrate the Flag.

    So you have a problem with the First Amendement. Good to know. But not surprising.

    Respect for religious belief.

    How does Trump show ANY respect for religious belief? Additionally, Middle America is home to the largest population of Muslims in the USA. So try again.

    Spewing your loathing of such values, in displays of moral exhibitionism, is going to get you 5 more years of Trump.

    Not likely.

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  29. EddieInCA says:

    @Michael Reynolds: @EddieInCA: @Neil Hudelson:

    This is why I love this site. Three different posts, all saying similar things- but legitimately debunking talking points.

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  30. Michael Reynolds says:

    @EddieInCA: @Neil Hudelson:
    I just wish we had better opponents. It’s like playing tennis against a one-armed man. In a wheelchair.

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  31. Daryl and his brother Darryl says:

    @andros:

    Rejection of “income equality” redistribution schemes, urged with a view to harvesting votes from the Dependent Classes.

    Translation: Tax cuts for the rich. Continue the 35 year Republican economic war on the Middle American. (I’ll bet you are in favor of socialistic redistribution to farmers, though)

    Rejection of the notion that we hold the American Dream in trust for the world’s impoverished, unskilled masses, eager to partake of our welfare largesse.

    Translation: Xenophobia. That’s a big word to describe your racism, andros.

    Respect of law enforcement officers.

    Translation: Support racial injustice.

    Contempt of those who spit upon, burn, or otherwise desecrate the Flag.

    Translation: Rejection of others First Amendment rights. While you claim to care about the Flag…you trample the very ideas it represents, which is at variance with the Constitution.

    Respect for religious belief.

    Translation: Freedom to impose your religion on others. While you claim to care about religious freedom, it’s only your religion that you care about. There have been, literally, thousands of Gods worshiped over the course of history. Yet in your arrogance you are convinced that you worship the ONE TRUE GOD and your neighbor should have to conform to your beliefs. You do not support freedom of religion, you support state sponsored religion which is at variance with the Constitution.

    These aren’t Middle American values…they are nothing more than right wing extremeist dog whistles. Red Meat for the rabid.
    Displays like this are the reason Republicans cannot win elections without rigging the system and cheating.

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  32. Kurtz says:

    @andros:

    Because everyone else has gone point by point, I will just say one thing about wealth distribution that has not been pointed out.

    If the FG didn’t push dollars toward rural states for shit (e.g. infrastructure) those states would have little in the way of an economy. Cities are the economic engines that allow a rural lifestyle to exist.

    Until those states can figure out how to pay for their own necessities, they have no room to bitch about “redistribution.”

    It’s funny to me that you think we are contemptous of the values you speak of. Maybe we are just contemptuous of your hypocrisy.

    Maybe one more thing: there was a poll that found that the most fervent opposition to immigration is found in places where the immigrant population is low. I wonder why that may be the case…

    https://www.washingtonpost.com/local/in-rural-america-fewer-immigrants-and-less-tolerance/2017/06/16/7b448454-4d1d-11e7-bc1b-fddbd8359dee_story.html

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  33. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Neil Hudelson:

    *A good example: a better writer than I could probably have edited this comment down to one sentence.

    I’m not a better writer, but I can say it in one sentence: @andros:, you are so full of shit, you don’t even know what a value is.

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  34. Daryl and his brother Darryl says:

    @Kurtz:

    If the FG didn’t push dollars toward rural states for shit (e.g. infrastructure) those states would have little in the way of an economy. Cities are the economic engines that allow a rural lifestyle to exist.

    This x 1,000.
    Not nearly enough is made of this issue.
    30 Red States receive more from the FG than they send to Washington in taxes.
    Yet they are intent on telling the rest of us how things should run.

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  35. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @mattbernius: Sadly, the whole J-nos obsession to me merely shows that both sides have trolls. Daryl and… is just a troll after all is said and done. You and Dr. Taylor can keep asking him to stop if you want, but he won’t. It’s what trolls do–keep pressing on the same idiotic/unprovable/misrepresentative/dishonest/untrue/whatever point to annoy others.

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  36. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @Neil Hudelson: Nah… You’re fairly concise. You had an example that you needed to show in enough detail for your readers to see it, and a point that you needed to explicate from said example. Doing that in half a dozen sentences is pretty tight writing over all.

    Now it’s possible that you could have run it altogether in one giant Faulkneresque sentence, but it would have been hard to read. The very best writers and communicators know when to use one longer sentence rather than 2 shorter ones and why not to at other times. You are good at that decision process.

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  37. andros says:

    So you think comparing farmers to those unwilling or unable to acquire employable skills will get you votes? And are you geniuses really ignorant of the fact that the prohibitions of the First Amendment apply only to State Action? It is totally inapplicable to my expression of contempt for those who despise the USA.

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  38. Daryl and his brother Darryl says:

    @andros:
    Right wing extremist tactic #4…employ word salad when you’ve had your ass handed to you.

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  39. Daryl and his brother Darryl says:

    @Just nutha ignint cracker:

    Daryl and… is just a troll after all is said and done.

    It’s what trolls do–keep pressing on the same idiotic/unprovable/misrepresentative/dishonest/untrue/whatever point to annoy others.

    Please, in order to help me grow as a human being, show me where I have done this?

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  40. Daryl and his brother Darryl says:

    @Just nutha ignint cracker:
    Waiting…….

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  41. mattbernius says:

    @andros:

    And are you geniuses really ignorant of the fact that the prohibitions of the First Amendment apply only to State Action?

    Can you unpack what you mean by that?

    Because, as far as most judicial interpretation goes, the negative rights created by the First Amendment do only apply to State Actions. That’s why its “Congress shall”:

    Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.

    The public/private speech divide is a critical component of some 200+ constitutional interpretation and precedence. Or am I misinterpreting what you’re writing.

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  42. mattbernius says:

    @andros:

    So you think comparing farmers to those unwilling or unable to acquire employable skills will get you votes?

    Well probably not. As we saw Trump got a significant amount of votes promising coal miners (and folks in coal country) that he would save that particular industry because they were fundamentally unwilling or unable to acquire employable skills.

    So that shows lying… I mean telling people what they want to hear is a far more effective approach.

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  43. Kurtz says:

    @andros:

    Flag burning has nothing to do with “despising” the US. It usually is an action taken to protest specific policies of the US.

    Why is a piece of dyed cloth so important to you that you express contempt for a flag burner? Flag burning does nothing to you personally, so why take it personally? Oh right, Republicans: The Original Snowflakes.

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  44. mattbernius says:

    @andros:

    And are you geniuses really ignorant of the fact that the prohibitions of the First Amendment apply only to State Action? It is totally inapplicable to my expression of contempt for those who despise the USA.

    Apologies… misread that. I retract (and downvoted) my previous question. Please ignore.

    My question instead, is what exactly are you trying to say here? Because it really doesn’t make sense to me… Who was trying to apply the first amendment prohibitions to your contempt? What does that even mean?

    Oh… Flag burning… got it. I do seem to question how that’s connected to Democrats hating “Middle America”(tm).

    That seems to fall squarely into protecting the rights of people that you disagree with. Which to me is a bedrock American value, but to each their own.

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  45. DrDaveT says:

    @andros:

    So you think comparing farmers to those unwilling or unable to acquire employable skills will get you votes?

    I thought we were talking about values. Make up your mind.

    And are you geniuses really ignorant of the fact that the prohibitions of the First Amendment apply only to State Action? It is totally inapplicable to my expression of contempt for those who despise the USA.

    Quite right. They should have noted instead that Trump has done more to sully the flag and what it stands for than any Vietnam-era flag-torching hippie, including humping one on stage, and you lap it up. Objecting to flag-burning as a protest against injustice and corruption is pretty much on a par with objecting to the occurrence of the N-word in Huckleberry Finn.

    (Yes, yes, we know that what you really object to is outing the injustice…)

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  46. Michael Reynolds says:

    Our boy @andros foolishly answered a question. And to the charges of racism, xenophobia and fascism? Silence.

    Best get back to regurgitating Russian agitprop and proving your desperate loyalty to Cult45 and refusing to answer questions. You have the chops to spread bullshit, not the chops to conceal your motives.

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  47. Kathy says:

    Christmas came early this year. In fact, it came in October 2017, when a Republican-led Senate committee found no evidence that Ukraine interfered in the 2016 election.

    It’s fitting Mr. Trump got a lump of coal (coal! ha!). Maybe he can burn it for fuel.

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  48. Pylon says:

    Andros is obviously from the art world and is using “values” in the Munsel color value scale:

    Munsell visualized the color value scale as a vertical axis with white being at the top and black at the bottom of the value scale. https://munsell.com/color-blog/munsell-color-value-scale/

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  49. andros says:

    @mattbernius:
    To which Middle America says “Get that son-of-a-bitch off the field.” You think deference is owed to those who (by way of example) approve of inciting riots by mouthing the falsehood that Michael Brown was shot down because of his race?

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  50. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @andros: I’m still waiting for andros to name an actual value as opposed to an action in service of a value. He avoids stating the actual values, because IGMFY isn’t very Christian. And he still feels the need to tell himself that he is a practicing Christian. andros? Here’s a clue, you aren’t. Accept the fact that you too think God is a fairy tale.

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  51. OzarkHillbilly says:

    In moderation. Really curious as to what I said that was so terrible.

    ReplyReply
  52. OzarkHillbilly says:

    I’m a bad boy.

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  53. mattbernius says:

    @andros:

    To which Middle America says “Get that son-of-a-bitch off the field.

    Wow. So much anger. Way to defend your fellow American’s right to protest.

    Which leads to:

    You think deference is owed to those who (by way of example) approve of inciting riots by mouthing the falsehood that Michael Brown was shot down because of his race?

    Yeah about that… If only “Middle Americans” care as much about the widespread systemic racism and for-profit policing that was uncovered in the Furgeson Police Department (that remains under consent degree while it cleans itself up) as they did about the initial Michael Brown incident. Those were found by the same federal investigative team that cleared Darren Wilson.

    If you’re curious you can read all the gory details here:

    https://www.justice.gov/sites/default/files/opa/press-releases/attachments/2015/03/04/ferguson_police_department_report.pdf

    Or perhaps you prefer it when widespread systemic abuses (which led to the protests) get suppressed in order to not offend your sensibilities.

    Also, you sure keep choosing a lot of racial touch points to emphasize your “Middle American” values.

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  54. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @Daryl and his brother Darryl: I’ve called you out on bullshit you’ve said often over the years. The fact that you don’t remember shows how interested you are in “growing as a human being.”

    Additionally, you already have suggestions about how to “grow as a human being” that your not taking. Beyond that, I don’t care whether you grow as a human being or not. To me, your just a troll–like andros.

    Sorry for making you wait, but I have a life.

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  55. al Ameda says:

    @andros:

    Your open contempt and disdain for the time-honored values of Middle America does little to enhance your credibility.

    I had no idea that Middle Americans believe that it is perfectly fine for a president to ask a foreign government to investigate a political rival in order to advance his personal interest and influence an impending presidential election?

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  56. Kurtz says:

    @andros:

    Kaepernick knealt, which splits the difference. Kneeling has never been a show of disrespect in human history. On the contrary it has always been an expression of deference or submission.

    To portray kneeling as disrespectful is to deny plain language, history and biology all at once.

    Plus, a Green Beret who saw CK sit during the anthem complained about it. CK didn’t speak through the media or Twitter. He met with the veteran, considered the soldier’s argument, and took his advice.

    That is respect for the military. That is the honest way to behave politically. That shows the willingness to listen. That shows intellectual integrity and a moral compass.

    None of those sentences describe the GOP presently. Certainly and especially they don’t describe Trump.

    You are proud, even gleeful, that your boy got “that son of a bitch off the field.” But almost none of the people on the Left, or on this board specifically, would say to you “get that son of a bitch out of the country.”* Can you truthfully say the same thing about your side? We all know the answer that.

    *yes, i know at least one poster told you to “die already,” or something to that effect. But you and I both know which side has a significant percentage of people who threaten or carry out violence and which one doesn’t.

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  57. mattbernius says:

    @mattbernius:

    Those were found by the same federal investigative team that cleared Darren Wilson.

    Just so there is no confusion. Wilson was not charged by a grand jury. So I’m that respect the system worked. There was a separate federal civil rights investigation that choose not to charge Wilson either. That was the same commission that delivered the Furgeson report.

    Here is one summary of it’s findings (which help explain why Furgeson was such a powder keg):

    https://www.vox.com/2015/5/31/17937860/justice-department-ferguson-police-michael-brown-shooting

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  58. An Interested Party says:

    I have a few questions…hopefully anyone in the spirit of good faith can help me answer them…

    Which people are part of the “Dependent Classes” in this country?

    Can anyone provide any evidence that immigrants, legal and/or illegal, seek out and get more “welfare largesse” than native-born citizens?

    Should law enforcement officers who actively racially profile potential suspects receive respect from the rest of us?

    How come free speech isn’t important and absolute when it comes to the American flag?

    How does wanting a strict separation between church and state show a disrespect of religion?

    How is it that those on the right spewing loathing of anything is acceptable but not so much when those on the left do it?

    Does anyone on the right engage in “moral exhibitionism”? And if so, is it wrong when they do it?

    Thanks so much in advance…

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  59. An Interested Party says:

    Could someone release my comments from moderation? Thank you…

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  60. @OzarkHillbilly:

    In moderation. Really curious as to what I said that was so terrible.

    The system it not behaving.

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  61. @Steven L. Taylor: In fact, the system put my comment about the system not working into moderation.

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  62. @mattbernius:

    Also, you sure keep choosing a lot of racial touch points to emphasize your “Middle American” values.

    Yes, I noticed that as well. I think I know understand his loyalty to the current administration.

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  63. Kathy says:

    @Steven L. Taylor:

    The system has a sense of humor.

    I’ve had a few comments sent to moderation. I expect this one will be as well.

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  64. DrDaveT says:

    @Steven L. Taylor:

    Yes, I noticed that as well.

    So I was right when I guessed that the “Middle American value” he was referring to was “hating on brown people”?

    What do I win?

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  65. Mikey says:

    @Steven L. Taylor: The system…is becoming self-aware…

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  66. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @An Interested Party: In answer to your questions (in order):
    Whoever takes stuff from the government that they don’t deserve to have–like people in cities who let their neighborhoods get run down and then do nothing to fix them and like that…

    Any sources that are saying that immigrants are not getting more than the rest of us are fake news from the lamestream media. Everybody knows the truth.

    Another lamestream media fake news lie. Police are too busy fighting metastasizing real crime in crime-ridden cities to racially profile anyone. Stop listening to the lies sheeple!

    Because Flag Code, you commie flag burning radical Islamist who pals around with people who want to destroy our country.

    Because it shows prejudice against the Christians who founded this country.

    Because The Right doesn’t “spew loathing” about anything. We righteously hate things that deserve hating–like the liberals who want to destroy our American way of life. Don’t you hate people who want to destroy you?

    Blah, blah, blah…

    Glad to help. (Now, I need to get out of this vacuum. I’m starting to get dizzy from needing to hold my breath for so long.)

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  67. andros says:

    It seems that every objection to the “progressive” agenda is met with accusations of “racism.” It’s like you’ve been lobotomized, the lot of you.

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  68. Teve says:

    @Steven L. Taylor: according to the system, You’re not behaving, human.

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  69. Gustopher says:

    @Steven L. Taylor: But all of those racial touch points are just things that are mentioned on Fox over and over again. People pick up language and points from their media.

    I’m not defending andros — I have no idea whether he is a closet racist, an open racist or just picked up racist dog whistles. Who knows what lies in the heart of man?

    But, I am beginning to ponder whether the racist dog whistles are pushed through the right wing media because they are all a bunch of racists, or whether it is part of a larger plan to make sure that normal people cannot talk to the loyal cult members. Plan might be too strong of a word — a not-unwelcomed side effect.

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  70. Kit says:

    @Gustopher:

    Who knows what lies in the heart of man?

    The Shadow knows!

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  71. mattbernius says:

    It seems that every objection to the “progressive” agenda is met with accusations of “racism.”

    It would help if you didn’t frame most of your objections to the “progressive” agenda using race-based frameworks and historic dog whistles.

    You may not be meaning to do this intentionally. However, to @Gustopher’s point, Right Wing Media has been developing that language for quite sometime (and perfecting it via folks like Rush Limbaugh).

    Case and point: You talk about respect for police. Then you twice cite Michael Brown and use language that was directed at Colin Kaepernick. So really, it sounds like your issue is with the Black Lives Matter movement.

    Also, if you don’t want to be perceived as racist, it might help if you directly addressed things like the Ferguson Report and the wide spread systemic racism/over-policing of that police force that created the conditions on the ground that led to the protests.

    And that’s where platitudes like “Respecting the police” run out of steam — because they tend to rely on suppressing all evidence/possibility of the police not respecting their communities. I say this as someone whose work is in criminal justice reform and working directly at times with Police and Prosecutors.

    Other examples you’ve posted in the past you might want to think a little more critically about if you really are interested in not just playing the victim card:

    “Unwilling to learn new jobs/Dependent Classes” – if you are serious that this is not about race, you should be concerned about all of the attempts to bring coal back and other rural jobs that are no longer available in the density they were. That would also complicate your story as Trump draws heavily from those bases for support. Also, that’s before we get to most stories about people being “unwilling to learn new skills” are based on anecdote rather than any sort of systemic survey.

    “Urban crime” – as noted previously urban crime has been on a long term downward trend. Again, the crime that’s been on a sustained upward trend is *rural* crime — fueled largely by first the meth and now the heroin/fentanyl epidemics. Again, this is a trend happening within Trump-supported country. More details: https://thecrimereport.org/2018/05/14/rural-violent-crime-rate-rises-above-u-s-average/

    Most of this can be seen as a rural/urban divide. However, due to historic factors, that’s also been perceived as white/person-of-color divide for years.

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  72. mattbernius says:

    @mattbernius:
    One other addendum on the Rural/Urban taker/maker thing, when you control for *population size* rural communities have the highest participation rate in programs like Food Stamps. They’re followed by suburban/small cities.

    https://www.harvestpublicmedia.org/post/rural-americans-are-now-largest-slice-federal-food-aid-recipients
    https://www.naco.org/articles/rural-areas-see-highest-snap-participation

    So again, the realities on the ground don’t necessarily match the simple narratives of what “Middle America” values are.

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  73. @andros:

    It seems that every objection to the “progressive” agenda is met with accusations of “racism.” It’s like you’ve been lobotomized, the lot of you.

    It would help if you would make actual critiques or objections.

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  74. Kit says:

    @mattbernius:
    Matt, you are wasting your digital breath: either tell him which realities will justify his conclusions, or prepare to hear the same crappy arguments ad nauseam. This is the Terminator Troll with a water pistol. No matter how many times you think you’ve destroyed him, he keeps crawling back to squirt you in the back of your head. It’s what he does. It’s all he does.

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  75. andros says:

    And when you are crushed, in the next election, you can console yourselves with the thought that it was because of “racism,” and smugly congratulate each other on your moral superiority.

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  76. mattbernius says:

    @andros:
    Your courage to have open, difficult conversations is in inspiration to us all!

    (Also, given the Democrat’s success in the 2018 elections, perhaps — just perhaps — there might be something to these concerns).

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  77. @mattbernius:

    Your courage to have open, difficult conversations is in inspiration to us all!

    Indeed.

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  78. @andros:

    Your courage to have open, difficult conversations is in inspiration to us all!

    So, do you want to explain why farm subsidies are ok by you, but only wealth transfers aren’t?

    You are the one who first brought up wealth transfer, then when confronted on farm subsidies shifted to the notion that Dems are giving welfare to “those unwilling or unable to acquire employable skills will get you votes.” So, what did you mean by that?

    Why bring up immigration, Ferguson, and Kaepernik in this thread?

    What does “Middle America” mean?

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  79. Daryl and his brother Darryl says:

    @Just nutha ignint cracker:
    Keyboard commando accuses me of making

    “…idiotic/unprovable/misrepresentative/dishonest/untrue/whatever point to annoy others”

    When asked to back it up responds with “because I said so.”
    Ignint cracker, indeed.

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  80. Pylon says:

    It seems that every objection to the “progressive” agenda is met with accusations of “racism.”

    When it waddles and quacks, I have a pretty good idea what it is.

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  81. mattbernius says:

    @Kit:
    I never expected to change his mind. He’s been very transparent that his views are fixed. So that’s a debate that, if I take him at his word, I have no chance of directly winning.

    Like Steven, I engage in the hopes of reaching people who are reading but not commenting. It also gives me an excuse to stay up on the facts and refine my arguments.

    And, who knows, perhaps I can plant a seed or niggling doubt that might ultimately lead him to change his perspective (or refine his argument).

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  82. @mattbernius:

    I never expected to change his mind. He’s been very transparent that his views are fixed.

    Indeed. In fact, the more he is confronted with arguments, evidence, and logic the worse he gets.

    This thread is the best example of that, in fact.

    For example, “To which Middle America says “Get that son-of-a-bitch off the field.” ” was a non sequitur–and only made sense (to a point) if one knew what he was quoting.

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  83. mattbernius says:

    @Steven L. Taylor:

    For example, “To which Middle America says “Get that son-of-a-bitch off the field.” ” was a non sequitur–and only made sense (to a point) if one knew what he was quoting.

    Yeah. To go fully anthropologist for a sec, that was a really great bit of semiotic/linguistic signaling.

    Like you, I didn’t realize off the top of my head that that was connected to Kaepernick. One you know that, then you can see how its tied into a specific line of thought across multiple posts. It, along with mentioning Michael Brown, becomes a great way to bring up what I’d say is a racially coded grievance (i.e. “Black Lives Matter”) without actually invoking race. That, in turn, sets up the ever popular “you’re the real racists for bringing race into this discussion” – even though it’s always already been there.

    Again, I don’t necessarily think this is fully intentional. Rather, it’s a type of language that a certain type of right-wing American populism has been practicing for years (and to some degree right-wing American Intellectualism as well, just look at the National Review’s track record on race related issues).

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  84. Daryl and his brother Darryl says:

    @mattbernius:

    Rather, it’s a type of language that a certain type of right-wing American populism has been practicing for years

    Fox News has been brainwashing this portion of the electorate for 23 years, now. I’m willing to bet that folks like andros have absolutely no idea what Kaepernick was actually protesting, much less that racial injustice actually exists. Only that Fox News told them he was disrespecting the flag and the military.

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  85. Neil Hudelson says:

    I know this thread is pretty much dead, but two small thoughts occurred to me:

    1. Ferguson is pretty much smack dab in “Middle America.” It’s weird how the people who live in the center of the United States don’t count as “Middle America” to Andros. Yet, I bet the people who live in farm towns 50 miles north of Ferguson somehow do count as “Middle America.”

    2. @mattbernius

    To go fully anthropologist for a sec, that was a really great bit of semiotic/linguistic signaling

    It’s really quite rude to talk about someone using language they don’t understand. I, for one, won’t denigrate Andros like that…

    @Andros, “denigrate” means to call bad names.

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  86. Michael Reynolds says:

    @andros:
    Let’s be clear: we aren’t just collectively morally superior to you, we are each, individually intellectually superior to you. You got your class assignment wrong: this is an AP class, you’re in woodworking shop down the hall.

    As for your racism? You broadcast it, dude. You’re too dumb to know it, but like I said above, you only have the chops to regurgitate Cult45 lies, you’re nowhere near clever enough to hide who you are.

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  87. Daryl and his brother Darryl says:

    @Michael Reynolds:

    you’re in woodworking shop down the hall.

    There’s no need to disparage wood-workers.

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  88. Michael Reynolds says:

    @Daryl and his brother Darryl:
    I blame my bitterness on the fact that despite my DIY skills (ahem) my repair of the front door is still not working. Also that wall-mounted remote? Crooked.

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  89. Daryl and his brother Darryl says:

    @Michael Reynolds:
    My friend, sometimes the best tool in the tool box is your checkbook.

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  90. JohnSF says:

    @andros:

    Well, here I am again, a day late and a dollar short.
    Likely this wont get read but…

    Andros, I’m definitely not going to call you out for pomposity or verbosity 🙂
    Pot, kettle, eh?
    If it wasn’t for pomposity, arrogance, sarcasm and cynicism I’d have no redeeming virtues at all…

    I’ve also less than zero insight into the virtues of your conception of Middle America, or the policies that should be derived from such assumed virtue.

    I would just like to point out two possible problems with your programme.

    1) The pragmatic:
    Aren’t you going to feel a right wally if the “progressives” win the next elections?
    And if they do, is maximising antagonism a sensible thing for you to pursue?

    2) The philosophical:
    Considering at your arguments over a whole series of post commentaries, and putting aside their problems of fact and logic, you seem to have alighted on a resuscitation of Rousseau and the “essential” General Will “which is not the Will of All”.
    Congatulations!
    Or commiserations.
    Because this view has not tended to end well for its adherents.

    To me this seems the logic of your position;
    -“Middle America” (as defined by you) is the Essential True Nation;

    – the opposition “Progressives” are by definition and in essence opposed to the True Nation;

    – the True Nation is the only legitimate electorate;
    Donald Trump embodies the Will of the True Nation as the True Leader;

    – by definition the Nation cannot betray itself;

    – therefore the Leader cannot betray the Nation;

    – opposition to the Leader is opposition to the Nation and therefore betrayal;

    – the opposition of the “establishment” to the policies of the Leader shows their betrayal of the Nation;

    – therefore any opponent is a traitor to the Nation;

    – therefore any means used to attack such are right and proper;

    – any objections to such means treason against the Leader and the Nation who are incapable of wrong;

    – therefore anyone who purports to show wrongdoing on the part of the Leader is guilty, and the more they protest the wrong, the guiltier they are.

    This path is perilous.

    You may object that this is a caricature.
    Is it any more so than your definition of your “progressive” opponents?
    You’d probably define your position as Conservative.
    IS IT?

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  91. Jim Brown 32 says:

    @andros: This guy/gal is a paid disinformation troll. They are here to persuade suggestible lurkers…not to engage with the active commenters. One of the effectiveness criterion these people are graded on is how much engagement they can generate.

    Let’s get him/her an “F”

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