Witnesses Look Unlikely

While it has been widely reported that Majority Leader McConnell did not have the votes to block witnesses, it is increasingly looking like he is maneuvering his caucus against calling them. The NYT reports: To Senate Republicans, a Vote for Witnesses Is a Vote for Trouble.

Republicans have offered myriad rationales for refusing new testimony: Gathering it was the House’s job. Calling more witnesses would lead to prolonged court fights over executive privilege. They had heard more than enough evidence to reach a verdict. There was not enough evidence to show they needed more information. Allowing the House to force the Senate into a drawn-out impeachment trial would set a dangerous institutional precedent. In essence, during what they hoped would be the final hours of Mr. Trump’s trial, Senate Republicans were constructing a permission structure for not trying to get to the bottom of what happened, with the hope that voters would find their explanations satisfactory and reasonable.

Fundamentally, the caucus clearly has intended to vote for acquittal no matter what. If anything, even if enough Republicans want to hear witnesses (it would take four, assuming the Democrats all voted in favor), there aren’t going to be enough to vote to remove (twenty).

At any rate, McConnell is working the three Senators currently seen as willing to vote for witnesses:

On Wednesday morning, he summoned a key swing vote, Senator Lisa Murkowski of Alaska, to his office for a private meeting. She emerged refusing to speak about her intentions. And when the question-and-answer period opened later in the day, he gave the first question to three of the remaining Republican holdouts for witnesses: Senator Susan Collins of Maine, Ms. Murkowski and Senator Mitt Romney of Utah. The move signaled that Mr. McConnell was singularly focused on providing them the answers they needed to feel comfortable ending the trial without more evidence.

Based on past performance, I have a hard time seeing Collins ultimately sticking to her guns. It seems more likely that McConnell would find something to trade that Collins sees as helpful for what is likely to be a tough re-election fight.

Even if these three stand firm, the vote for witnesses could end up a tie.

If the vote is tied, the motion to call witnesses fails. It is possible that Chief Justice Roberts could decide to break the tie, but he could also simply let it stand (and, indeed, I suspect that he would).

We will find out on Friday.

FILED UNDER: Donald Trump, Impeachment, US Politics
Steven L. Taylor
About Steven L. Taylor
Steven L. Taylor is a Professor of Political Science and a College of Arts and Sciences Dean. His main areas of expertise include parties, elections, and the institutional design of democracies. His most recent book is the co-authored A Different Democracy: American Government in a 31-Country Perspective. He earned his Ph.D. from the University of Texas and his BA from the University of California, Irvine. He has been blogging since 2003 (originally at the now defunct Poliblog). Follow Steven on Twitter

Comments

  1. mattbernius says:

    Man, remember when we were told to look to Cory Gardner as a model of someone who could transcend politics/party to do what was best for the Republic?

    I agree on Collins, though if McConnell was smart he would let them break ranks for the sake of thier political futures.

    5
  2. Daryl and his brother Darryl says:

    @mattbernius:

    …he would let them break ranks for the sake of thier political futures.

    So you are thinking that the Republican Party survives appointing Donald Trump, King?
    I guess I’m naive/idealistic/stupid…but I dearly want to think attempting to shred the Constitution, and working to end Democracy, will not work out well in the end for the GOP.
    I guess I’m likely wrong.

    9
  3. Daryl and his brother Darryl says:

    Two things need to happen today if this country is to survive:
    1. Bolton needs to talk. He needs to tell everyone what he knows.
    2. Harvard needs to disavow Dershowitz and his radical, anti-American, legal theories.

    11
  4. KM says:

    To Senate Republicans, a Vote for Witnesses Is a Vote for Trouble.

    And water is wet – duh.

    GOP senators has quite the quandary here. Witnesses means sh*t comes out in a specific forum and they will have to deal with that when they inevitably ignore it all to appease their lord and master. No witnesses, however, does not promise the opposite. In fact, sh*t can come out in a forum they don’t control to an audience they aren’t deceiving and they’ll have just as hard a time (or more) inevitably ignoring it all to appease their lord and master. See – nobody other then political junkies are actually *watching* this crap. We’re getting sound bites and clips. Depending on where you get your info, you wouldn’t necessarily see or hear anything about witnesses even if they *did* speak.

    But if Bolton and other decided to go Trump and just blitz social media? Flood FB, Twitter and forums? It will have a wider audience and eventually have to trickle down to FOX and traditional media not covering this. If Bolton really wants to screw Trump, he’ll take a page out of Russia’s book and get some folks to really push the memes. Maybe start faking some QAnon posts that the Deep State doesn’t want witnesses because they’ll start talking about blah blah blah latest conspiracy BS and blah and we can’t let Trump be denied the ability to talk about his MAGAness!!

    The Senators are desperately hoping that a vote for no witnesses won’t bite them in the ass when it all comes out…. and it WILL all come out. Trump’s got the worst case of logorhea and can’t stop ruining his own defense. They’re hoping to pull the “well, we didn’t actually know” crap and it’s not gonna fly when your boss keeps burning the bridge under your feet.

    5
  5. mattbernius says:

    @Daryl and his brother Darryl:

    I dearly want to think attempting to shred the Constitution, and working to end Democracy, will not work out well in the end for the GOP.

    Narrator: Unfortunately it had little effect (at least on the Senate).

    2
  6. @Daryl and his brother Darryl:

    So you are thinking that the Republican Party survives appointing Donald Trump, King?

    While I understand frustration with the party (to put it mildly), I do not understand why people keep talking like the party is going away. Trump is empowered by existing voters, not the other way around, so Trump being gone doesn’t make those voters go away. And while the GOP is actually the minority party, they represent a substantial number of people.

    The party isn’t going to go away. What would even replace it?

    11
  7. mattbernius says:

    @Steven L. Taylor:
    This.

    Especially in the context of the Senate. There is a reason that House Republicans are “retiring” and Senators are staying put.

    4
  8. @mattbernius: Gardner is a good example. The only way he makes it to the general (to probably lose) is to win the GOP primary. To win the primary he has to stick with McConnell and Trump because that is almost certainly what the majority of primary voters in the CO GOP want.

    8
  9. Daryl and his brother Darryl says:

    @Steven L. Taylor:

    I do not understand why people keep talking like the party is going away.

    Perhaps more clearly…I want to think that this egregious behavior will have consequences.
    I’m quite sure that I am wrong.

    3
  10. gVOR08 says:

    Collins is presumably getting promises of campaign money and other support in her election this year. Murkowski doesn’t run until 2022 and Romney until 2024, by which time this will all be ancient history. So who knows what they’re bargaining for. Romney’s public waffling and ultimate cave may just be habit. In any case, unless they think Roberts might stick his head up and do the right thing without a gun to his head, they need a fourth, and there doesn’t seem to be one. And once McConnell buy off Collins they need a fifth.

    2
  11. Sleeping Dog says:

    Good news is the Dems chances of getting a Senate majority will go up.

    2
  12. LB1901 says:

    Of course there will be no ‘witnesses.’ Even the allegedly mentally ill Adam Schiff admitted as much.

    And why should there be? ‘Abuse of power’ and ‘Obstruction of Congress’ aren’t crimes. They simply don’t exist – so there was nothing to ‘witness.’ Besides, Trump became his own ‘whistle blower’ when he released the transcript of that Ukraine phone call.

    Moreover, the House had its turn last year to call witnesses. They refused to persue it. The Senate doesn’t exist to do the job the House should’ve done in the first place. The Articles of Impeachment are the evidence. The trial is conducted on that. Period.

    5
  13. Kathy says:

    Again, I with the Royalist Party were honest. They should say what they mean: Look, we’re going to acquit his Orangeness no matter what he did or why, because we’re scared of him and his loon base. So calling witnesses who will only make El Cheeto look bad, just highlights our cowardice and moral turpitude.

    4
  14. drj says:

    @LB1901:

    And why should there be? ‘Abuse of power’ and ‘Obstruction of Congress’ aren’t crimes.

    “Abuse of power” and “Obstruction of Congress” are categories of crime.

    That’s why the Articles of Impeachment contain actual, statutory crimes under these broader headings, you allegedly mentally ill dolt (see how that works?)

    Please try harder next time.

    27
  15. @LB1901:

    the allegedly mentally ill Adam Schiff

    I see you have come for an honest interchange.

    25
  16. Daryl and his brother Darryl says:

    @LB1901:

    ‘Abuse of power’ and ‘Obstruction of Congress’ aren’t crimes.

    Whoo boy,….you got the Fox News talking points down pat.
    Read page 117 – 127 of the 600 page House report where it specifically describes bribery and wire fraud as being part of Article 1 Abuse of Power.

    Pg 117; President Trump’s Abuse of Power Encompassed Impeachable “Bribery” and Violations of Federal Criminal Law

    Pg 127; For the reasons given above, President Trump’s abuse of power encompassed both the constitutional offense of “Bribery” and multiple federal crimes. He has betrayed the national interest, the people of this Nation, and should not be permitted to be above the law. It is therefore all the more vital that he be removed from office.

    https://docs.house.gov/billsthisweek/20191216/CRPT-116hrpt346.pdf

    the House had its turn last year to call witnesses. They refused to persue it.

    The House pursued it. They were denied. Trump refused cooperation of people in his charge, and refused documents. Hence…Obstruction.

    I am under no illusion that you will change your mind even when confronted with facts. Your opinions are based upon emotions, and not fact. You cannot argue with emotions.
    So…serious question for you…if you are willing to appoint a King…to give up on the principles of Democracy and the Constitution…to elevate someone above the Rule of Law…can you not find someone better than Trump? Seriously? What has he done that warrants being appointed Dear Leader?

    17
  17. LB1901 says:

    @Daryl and his brother Darryl:

    “The House pursued it. They were denied. Trump refused cooperation of people in his charge, and refused documents. Hence…Obstruction.”

    Wrong, TVLand man. It’s properly termed ‘Executive Privilege.’ The Executive is no more answerable to Congress any more than Congress is answerable to the Executive. I agreed with this principle when Obama exercised it, and I agree with it now. ‘Obstruction of Congress’ ain’t a thing.

    3
  18. LB1901 says:

    @Steven L. Taylor:

    Darn. You caught me.

    3
  19. reid says:

    @LB1901: And here is a convenient example of why Steven is correct. That was either a troll or asset using propaganda to stir up the rage of the GOP, or it was an actual GOP base member who is happy to believe and parrot utter nonsense. I’m afraid to think how many people there are like this out there. The GOP problem is not going away soon.

    18
  20. LB1901 says:

    @drj:

    I have read it. “actual, statutory crimes.” Wrong. Those are opinions about Trump’s motives. Not the same as ‘crime.’

    1
  21. KM says:

    @@LB1901:

    The Articles of Impeachment are the evidence. The trial is conducted on that. Period.

    A trial that refuses to admit new relevant evidence isn’t a trail, it’s a farce. Any prosecutor or defendant that doesn’t want witnesses is very, very suspect because it means they don’t want a fallible human being under oath screwing up the narrative. The GOP could call dozens of witnesses that do nothing but sing Trump’s praises if they wanted to but all it takes is one to have a shred of conscience (or fear jail time for perjury) and it all comes down.

    Besides, witnesses theoretically HELP Trump if he’s innocent since they would speak to how “perfect” the call was and now “nothing’s wrong.” Trump WANTS witnesses – he’s said so many, many times quite recently. Why are you not letting the defendant have what he feels would exonerate him? Shouldn’t he have a say in how his defense is handled? Oh wait – it’s because somebody here is lying, and his toadies are doing their damnedest to save their King from his own stupidity. Let Trump speak in his own self-defense since he can’t shut up about it on Twitter. Let him have his witnesses and make further criminals of them by lying under oath to save their asses.

    Once it all comes out, you and yours are going to look dirty AF. Better to save what you can now then lose it all later. Wouldn’t you rather have a GOP Senate and President Pence then lose the Senate and White House later? Trying to cover for this man is a gamble and EVERYONE who gambles on Trump loses – that’s just historical fact. Trump profits off Trump and everyone else takes the fall. You’ll still have power and get what you want done so why do you have to defend this man as he drives you off the cliff?

    11
  22. Gustopher says:

    @LB1901:

    Wrong, TVLand man. It’s properly termed ‘Executive Privilege.’ The Executive is no more answerable to Congress any more than Congress is answerable to the Executive.

    Two things:

    First, are you intending to say that congressional oversight is allowed merely at the whim of the executive? Because that’s what you are saying. And that goes against 200 or so years of American history and precedent.

    Second, if congress is not answerable to the executive, can they crime with impunity?

    18
  23. Daryl and his brother Darryl says:

    @LB1901:

    It’s properly termed ‘Executive Privilege.’

    That’s an expansive view of Executive Privilege, which is limited to certain conditions, that has never been adjudicated anywhere.
    No matter…I know you will not be convinced.
    I asked you a specific question.
    Answer it, or STFU.

    9
  24. drj says:

    @LB1901:

    Those are opinions about Trump’s motives. Not the same as ‘crime.’

    I provided the link. You are not mistaken or misguided, or whatever. You are a liar.

    9
  25. Mike in Arlington says:

    @drj: The link you had was to a 9 page document. Did you mean to link to the report?
    https://rules.house.gov/sites/democrats.rules.house.gov/files/CRPT-116hrpt346.pdf

    If so, the part about laying out the case that Trump committed crimes starts on page 123 under the heading: “President Trump’s Abuse of Power Encompassed Impeachable “Bribery” and Violations of Federal Criminal Law”.

    5
  26. An Interested Party says:

    Good news is the Dems chances of getting a Senate majority will go up.

    Exactly…rock, meet hard place…the political ads in Maine and Colorado, among other states, write themselves…I hope someone like Susan Collins will think it was all worth it when she’s out of the Senate next year…

    3
  27. @An Interested Party:

    I hope someone like Susan Collins will think it was all worth it when she’s out of the Senate next year

    I think her calculation, which is probably correct, that he only hope of retaining the seat is to make sure she doesn’t lose GOP support in her state.

    5
  28. drj says:

    @Mike in Arlington:

    My link was only to the Articles of Impeachment, I believe. Yours is to the full House Judiciary Committee report which provides a lot more background info.

    But I’d say it’s pretty clear regardless that soliciting the interference of a foreign government in upcoming US elections is indeed a statutory crime.

    3
  29. Mike in Arlington says:

    @Steven L. Taylor: How much of a hope do you think she realistically has?

  30. @LB1901:

    It’s properly termed ‘Executive Privilege.’

    A blanket refusal to cooperate is not what “Executive Privilege” looks like. Indeed, I am not sure that there has been a formal assertion of privilege (which has to be case by case, not universal).

    @LB1901:

    Darn. You caught me.

    Of this, I have zero doubt.

    20
  31. @Mike in Arlington: I do not have a solid sense at this point. Incumbency matters and Maine is an odd state–and she has survived to this point.

    I think if she becomes persona non grata with Trumpists in Maine, she is doomed (and hence her behavior).

    3
  32. Kingdaddy says:

    @KM:

    See – nobody other then political junkies are actually *watching* this crap.

    Au contraire.

    Suppose we were talking about Venezuela, Russia, Brazil, Ghana, or Saudi Arabia. Sure, we’d naturally focus, at first, on the authoritarian leader, and how he created and supports a network of corruption. Then, we’d inevitably talk about how the corrupt system works — who benefits, how it sustains itself, and why people look the other way when they shouldn’t.

    Now, let’s talk about the moment when a corrupt system in the United States is just forming. The issue isn’t just the Trump family’s private enrichment, the erratic behavior and cognition of the leader, the decisions that harm our relations with allies and embolden rivals, the attacks on democracy and the rule of law, the destructive economic and environmental policies. It’s the willingness of other important political actors to either look the other way, or enthusiastically support these changes, enabling instead of stopping the creation of the corrupt system, that’s the really scary part.

    And let’s remember how powerful the United States is, in the international system. The indirect consequences of the White House’s actions, such as looking to remove penalties for corporate bribery, are just as bad as the direct consequences, such as pressuring Ukraine to provide opposition research. Both undermine the international order of norms and understandings about corruption, human rights, armed conflicts, and other important dimensions of our interdependent world. They put the future of global prosperity, safety, and liberty at risk.

    It’s not just political junkies in the US who are watching. The world is watching to see if the United States’ political order, as a system, can resist this corruption. We can tut tut about the problems of Venezuela under the current regime. We worry a little bit about the impact of Venezuela’s corruption on oil prices and the flow of refugees in the Western Hemisphere. When the regime in the United States succumbs to this rot, the stakes are much higher for the rest of the world. Just ask Jens Stoltenberg, Moon Jae-In, Nechirvan Barzani, or Volodymyr Zelensky.

    10
  33. CSK says:

    @Mike in Arlington: I am not SLT, but Maine has been trending blue since 1988. As I recall, Collins had a tough re-election fight the last go-round. I suspect she’ll lose her next election.

    3
  34. Mike in Arlington says:

    @CSK: That was my impression too, especially after Kavanaugh and the vote removing the tax penalty from the PPACA.

    2
  35. reid says:

    @Kingdaddy: Excellent post. Our system is only as good as the people in the system. That’s why I worry about everything you mentioned and when I hear that such-and-such respected high-level person has quit or been fired. How many good people can we lose before it all goes to hell?

    1
  36. Neil Hudelson says:

    @CSK:

    While it has been trending blue, thus far that hasn’t had much of an effect on Collins. Not to get too technical jargon-y, but she absolutely walloped her opponent in 2014, 413,000 votes to 191,000, even as the state turned purple for national elections.

    I would even be tempted to say that surely the last three years have put a bad taste in Mainers mouths for the GOP, but then I remember she won her re-election 4 years into the 8 years of the LePage administration.

    3
  37. Mike in Arlington says:

    @Neil Hudelson: the one change in this case is that she’s more closely associated with the unpopular republican than she was with LePage (or it will be easier for the democrat to tie her with trump than it was with lepage). I don’t know if that will be enough to cause her to lose, but it is a distinction.

  38. Gustopher says:

    I wonder whether it would be a good strategy for Democratic Senators to boycott the impeachment proceedings if there are no witnesses called. En masse, of course, not just one or two.

    70% of Americans want witnesses, according to polling. I assume that this must be after it is mentioned that there haven’t been witnesses, as I doubt 70% of Americans are paying that much attention. Walking out and refusing to participate in the show trial would educate America, and show what a hollow game it is — and win a few news cycles and put a lot of pressure on the purple state Republican Senators.

    1
  39. CSK says:

    @Neil Hudelson:
    Her approval rating has really sunk since 2018. And, judging by what I’ve seen, Cult45 regards her loyalty to Trump as very suspect.

    2
  40. Daryl and his brother Darryl says:

    @Gustopher:

    I wonder whether it would be a good strategy for Democratic Senators to boycott the impeachment proceedings if there are no witnesses called. En masse, of course, not just one or two.

    I thought about this, earlier today, myself.
    What do you have to lose?
    Participating in an upside down show trial seems to only endorse the findings of the upside down show trial.

    1
  41. Michael Reynolds says:

    No, the Republican Party won’t disappear. Now. But the goal should be to eliminate it. It is thoroughly corrupt, no longer stands for anything but corruption and abuse of power, and is at its core a hate group like the KKK, and is a danger to democracy.

    Many years ago when I was taking martial arts, the sensei had a useful piece of advice that applies here. You don’t punch the other guy in the face; you punch the guy in the back of his head… through his face.

    No waffling, no mercy, no ‘let’s make a deal,’ our goal should be the complete destruction of the Republican Party, by whatever (legal) means necessary.

    12
  42. Sleeping Dog says:

    @Steven L. Taylor:

    I believe you’re correct in Collins’ rational, but it is nearly suicidal in the level of risk. Collins’ is incredibly unpopular in Maine, including among Repugs. Her electoral coalitions have been Main St repugs, independents and a smattering of moderate Dems. Hard right repugs, now Trumpists have long hated her and she has alienated any Dem support she had and large junks of the independents. Now she’s counting on the Trumpist turnout to also mark her line after voting for Tiny. Not a good bet.

    2
  43. the Q says:

    According to LB1901, killing your political opponents is not an abuse of power either. Trump correctly portrayed his mindless minions as giving him a pass to do just that (“killing someone on 5th Ave.)…and LB1901 proves his point.

    5
  44. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    I asked you a specific question.
    Answer it, or STFU.

    You are not mistaken or misguided, or whatever. You are a liar.

    More insightful examples of why calling out the trolls is such a successful tactic. Keep fighting the good fight boys. There are souls to be won!

  45. Daryl and his brother Darryl says:

    Trump in Senate; the House should have gone to court to enforce subpoenas.
    Trump in CourtTODAY…the Court has no power to enforce subpoenas because of…wait for it…the Power of Impeachment.

    7
  46. reid says:

    If you value your sanity, do not pay attention to the tweets of Republican congresspeople/senators, and quickly change the channel if you mistakenly come upon one giving an interview. The depths of their willingness to debase themselves with stupid, asinine arguments to defend the president will astonish you. Even if you thought they were bad, they’ve proven to be 10 times worse in the last few months. (Posted because I read that Very Principled Libertarian Rand Paul’s question in the Senate was submitted in order to reveal the whistleblower’s identity. We are doomed as a country/species.)

    3
  47. HarvardLaw92 says:

    @LB1901:

    I have read it. “actual, statutory crimes.” Wrong. Those are opinions about Trump’s motives. Not the same as ‘crime.’

    Withholding the funds, regardless of the rationale for doing so, violated the Impoundment Act. Willfully violating federal law should easily be enough of a justification for impeachment, no?

    15
  48. HarvardLaw92 says:

    Sidenote for Doug: it looks like our back and forth concerning the ERA is about to be considered. VA, NV, and IL filed suit today in the DC District, directly against the Archivist.

    4
  49. Gustopher says:

    @Guarneri: It’s called a metaphor. It’s like the number four, but meta.

    8
  50. @Guarneri: On the one hand, it was clearly a metaphor. On the other, I will admit I am not a fan of its deployment and is the kind of things that undercuts some of my attempts at modulating the debate around here.

    8
  51. @Guarneri: I will hasten to add that your protestations about the quality of debate would be taken more seriously if you, yourself, ever actually engaged in any.

    15
  52. An Interested Party says:

    So this is what discussion from an “educated, thoughtful” point of view looks like.

    So very true…much better to talk about “Second Amendment people” or say things like “I have the tough people, but they don’t play it tough until they go to a certain point, and then it would be very bad, very bad.” Yep, so much more educated and thoughtful…

    1
  53. Teve says:

    @An Interested Party: empty barrels make the most noise.

    2
  54. Mister Bluster says:

    @An Interested Party:..Yep, so much more educated and thoughtful…

    I couldn’t read the Washington Post article you linked to since it is behind a paywall.
    Didn’t take long for Google to find this:

    Beach chairs, blankets and trash. Massive mess left after Trump’s Wildwood rally.
    The thousands of people who descended upon the Jersey Shore town for President Donald Trump’s ‘Keep America Great’ rally at the Wildwoods Convention Center left behind a sea of trash in the parking lot — including their abandoned beach chairs and blankets — after the rally wrapped up.

    Just plain dumb and thoughtless if you ask me.

  55. Scott O says:

    @Guarneri: Are you actually trying to complain about a lack of civility? Google “human scum”.

    1
  56. Michael Reynolds says:

    @Steven L. Taylor:
    It’s not only a metaphor, it’s a metaphor for an action against an institution. As such it is equivalent to talk of destroying or making war upon an abstraction or institution. ‘We’re gonna destroy the Red Sox.” Or, perhaps, “You’ll take my gun when you pry it from my cold, dead hands.”

    It’s more effective because every now and then I like to put a wee bit more energy into it. As if I were getting paid.

    That said, the GOP is a white supremacist organization. It should and must be destroyed. Not a threat for @guarneri, I’m sure he’ll survive, his kind do.

    1
  57. HelloWorld! says:

    This is who Susan Collins is. We know there won’t be witnesses because she now says she wants them. If her voice was a deciding vote she would have kept up the pageantry, but would have broke for the republican side. Since she broke for the democratic side we know Mitch has his caucus in line and she has permission to pretend.

    9
  58. Teve says:

    @therickwilson

    A lot of people are asking me for a read on tonight’s debacle.

    I’m going to have some more cogent thoughts on this in the morning, but here’s the short summary:

    I’d say, “Fuck the Trump GOP” but history is going to fuck them, good and hard, forever.

    1
  59. @Michael Reynolds:

    ‘We’re gonna destroy the Red Sox.”

    Well, even when you beat the Sox in the World Series, they don’t actually go away.

    I think, too, that the thing that needs to be destroyed (and not just in the metaphorical sense) in white supremacy.

    The GOP isn’t going to go away any more than does the loser of the World Series. We need it transformed and expunged of white supremacy. And yes, that means they need to lose at the ballot box, and the worse, the better.

    3
  60. mattbernius says:

    @Steven L. Taylor:

    The GOP isn’t going to go away any more than does the loser of the World Series. We need it transformed and expunged of white supremacy.

    Steven, don’t you realize that these are the sort of uncomfortable statements that causes the economic anxiety that *forces* well meaning (white) people to vote for people like Trump and the Republicans who enable his behavior?

    2
  61. Kathy says:

    Why do I keep being reminded of the words of Jugurtha concerning Rome: “A city for sale, and doomed to quick destruction, if it should find a buyer” ?

    @Steven L. Taylor:

    The GOP isn’t going to go away any more than does the loser of the World Series.

    If it isn’t going to, it’s because it already has. Is this the party that supported Romney or McCain, or even W. Bush? It’s the Trumpist party now.

  62. @Kathy:

    If it isn’t going to, it’s because it already has. Is this the party that supported Romney or McCain, or even W. Bush? It’s the Trumpist party now.

    Yes. It has changed. But that doesn’t take away from the simple fact that it is going to remain one of two parties that can win control of the US government.

    1
  63. Mike in Arlington says:

    Can anybody remember from the “IRS scandal” under Obama if there was an underlying crime or if the charge was abuse of power? I can’t remember myself, but I thought it was an abuse of power theory.

  64. DrDaveT says:

    @Mike in Arlington:

    Can anybody remember from the “IRS scandal” under Obama if there was an underlying crime or if the charge was abuse of power?

    No criminal charges were filed against anyone, probably because there were no crimes involved. The Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration (TIGTA) conducted an investigation and wrote a report. The Senate Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations conducted bipartisan interviews and investigations, and failed to reach a consensus. The majority (Democratic) carefully described the vetting processes used, and how they were applied essentially identically to conservative and progressive groups. The Republican minority objected that many more conservative than progressive groups were affected — entirely failing to notice that many more conservative than progressive groups were stretching the limits of 501(c)(4) boundaries, among the ones applying.

    Lois Lerner, who had been in charge of the Cincinnati office, resigned. A joint DOJ/FBI investigation found “no evidence that any IRS official acted based on political, discriminatory, corrupt, or other inappropriate motives that would support a criminal prosecution”. They did criticize the management of the office.

    1