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Thread: 2019 American Political Scene

  1. #331
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    I would also expect the standard trope about voting irregularities, i.e. double voting, ballot stuffing, and illegal immigrants voting, to be the refrain in the coming days now.
    great prediction, Bevin has already made it-- and thrown in a conspiracy theory about Kentucky Secretary of State Grimes as well.

    TH,

    And final act (of this particular legal battle, anyway) is about to play out. As the op-ed title says, it'll all come down to Roberts.

    And god damn Thomas, Alito, Gorsuch and Kavanaugh to hell. "The President is totally immune from criminal investigation". What in the actual fuck do these fascists think we're living in, a dictatorship?
    ain't it ironic that "small government conservatives" are now championing someone whom openly admires dictators, has talked about being a dictator, and has lawyers whom argue that he should be immune from any sort of prosecution-- including shooting people down in the street?
    There is a cult of ignorance in the United States, and there has always been. The strain of anti-intellectualism has been a constant thread winding its way through our political and cultural life, nurtured by the false notion that democracy means that "My ignorance is just as good as your knowledge."- Isaac Asimov

  2. #332
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    Quote Originally Posted by astralis View Post
    ain't it ironic that "small government conservatives" are now championing someone whom openly admires dictators, has talked about being a dictator, and has lawyers whom argue that he should be immune from any sort of prosecution-- including shooting people down in the street?
    Ironic? It's Staggering. Appalling. Frightening.
    “You don’t even have to be convicted of a crime to lose your job in this constitutional republic if the Senate determines that your conduct as a public official is clearly out of bounds in your role… because impeachment is not about punishment. Impeachment is about cleansing the office. Impeachment is about restoring honor and integrity to the office.”
    ~ Lindsey Graham

    "The notion that you can withhold information and documents from Congress no matter whether you are the party in power or not in power is wrong. Respect for the rule of law must mean something, irrespective of the vicissitudes of political cycles."
    ~ Trey Gowdy

  3. #333
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    TH,

    recall the GOP in NC and Wisconsin went to extraordinary measures to handicap the incoming Democratic governors by stripping them of their power; that right now Bevin and the GOP Kentucky Senate President are openly talking about using their powers to -appoint- Bevin governor.

    the fact that Trump is the most popular person within the GOP since Reagan, sometimes even outpolling the old gipper.

    yeah, all those adjectives work.
    There is a cult of ignorance in the United States, and there has always been. The strain of anti-intellectualism has been a constant thread winding its way through our political and cultural life, nurtured by the false notion that democracy means that "My ignorance is just as good as your knowledge."- Isaac Asimov

  4. #334
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    Quote Originally Posted by astralis View Post
    TH,

    recall the GOP in NC and Wisconsin went to extraordinary measures to handicap the incoming Democratic governors by stripping them of their power; that right now Bevin and the GOP Kentucky Senate President are openly talking about using their powers to -appoint- Bevin governor.

    the fact that Trump is the most popular person within the GOP since Reagan, sometimes even outpolling the old gipper.

    yeah, all those adjectives work.
    I can count on politicians in general to be self-serving greedy hypocrites. Also Donald Trump. It's practically written into their DNA.

    The most depressing part is their supporters and enablers, people that I had thought were too smart, too analytical, too sharp to be taken in like some naive mark on the street corner when some lowlife con artist waves them over to a play a little shell game.
    “You don’t even have to be convicted of a crime to lose your job in this constitutional republic if the Senate determines that your conduct as a public official is clearly out of bounds in your role… because impeachment is not about punishment. Impeachment is about cleansing the office. Impeachment is about restoring honor and integrity to the office.”
    ~ Lindsey Graham

    "The notion that you can withhold information and documents from Congress no matter whether you are the party in power or not in power is wrong. Respect for the rule of law must mean something, irrespective of the vicissitudes of political cycles."
    ~ Trey Gowdy

  5. #335
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    Quote Originally Posted by astralis View Post
    TH,

    recall the GOP in NC and Wisconsin went to extraordinary measures to handicap the incoming Democratic governors by stripping them of their power; that right now Bevin and the GOP Kentucky Senate President are openly talking about using their powers to -appoint- Bevin governor.
    The comments I have read from GOP legislators in Kentucky suggest that Bevin might be pushing shit uphill to get them to intervene for him. There doesn't seem to be much expectation that Bevin can turn up anything capable of overturning a 5000 vote margin. Undercutting the powers of a Governor is one thing, overthrowing one another entirely. There doesn't seem much appetite for that.


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  6. #336
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    BF,

    The comments I have read from GOP legislators in Kentucky suggest that Bevin might be pushing shit uphill to get them to intervene for him. There doesn't seem to be much expectation that Bevin can turn up anything capable of overturning a 5000 vote margin. Undercutting the powers of a Governor is one thing, overthrowing one another entirely. There doesn't seem much appetite for that.
    that is -probably- true, and a result of Bevin having such a lack of charisma/political acumen that TRUMP called him a "pain in the @$$" at Bevin's own rally-- no one is willing to stick their necks out for him.

    my guess is that the KY Senate President made those remarks as a trial balloon and saw exactly how much blowback he'd get if he tried going down that path. of course, his intentions were revealed via the balloon in the first place.
    There is a cult of ignorance in the United States, and there has always been. The strain of anti-intellectualism has been a constant thread winding its way through our political and cultural life, nurtured by the false notion that democracy means that "My ignorance is just as good as your knowledge."- Isaac Asimov

  7. #337
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    joe,

    The most depressing part is their supporters and enablers, people that I had thought were too smart, too analytical, too sharp to be taken in like some naive mark on the street corner when some lowlife con artist waves them over to a play a little shell game.
    the award for most depressing is a real toss-up. it's true there are fools like Paul Ryan whom thought they could GUIDE Trump, but even worse are the ones who DON'T CARE about the damage Trump is doing because they can advance their goals within the chaos like a sh*tty Littlefinger.

    Mitch McConnell, for instance.

    or how about someone like Bill Barr?

    ====

    It’s too late to save yourself now, Bill Barr

    By Dana Milbank
    November 7, 2019 at 6:34 p.m. EST

    In my news colleagues’ latest scoop, The Post’s Matt Zapotosky, Josh Dawsey and Carol Leonnig report that the attorney general declined to fulfill President Trump’s request that he publicly exonerate Trump’s “perfect” call with Ukraine’s president — following several actions recently in which “the Justice Department has sought some distance from the White House.”

    Right. Like a barnacle seeks distance from a whale.

    The distancing maneuver is plainly an attempt by those sympathetic to Barr to make him look a bit less like the president’s mob lawyer — done anonymously so that Trump wouldn’t rage at Barr but instead blame the “degenerate” Post, as he did Thursday. But Barr has sealed his fate. As Trump’s impeachment looms, Barr has degraded the office Elliot Richardson once dignified. Barr has turned the Justice Department into a shield for presidential misconduct and a sword wielded against political opponents.

    Even as Barr’s latest distancing gambit debuted, he was due to huddle Wednesday with Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.), Trump’s loyal defender, to decide how to release an inspector general’s report examining the FBI’s investigation into Russian 2016 interference and Trump’s campaign. Notably, the Justice Department inspector general himself, Michael Horowitz, was “not expected to attend,” The Post reported, leaving Barr and Graham free to decide what should be declassified to put Trump in the best possible light.

    How Trump's attempt to force a Biden-Ukraine investigation backfired to an impeachment inquiry

    Barr’s team aims to get that report out in the coming weeks, just in time for Barr’s holiday party at the Trump International Hotel, for which the attorney general is paying upward of $30,000 to the president’s business. Barr must have liked what he saw when he dined at the hotel earlier this year on a night when Trump was also there for a fundraiser.

    If Barr does manipulate the inspector general’s report to Trump’s advantage, he’ll be reprising his mischaracterization of the Mueller report. Then, before releasing the report, he declared that special counsel Robert S. Mueller III had found “no collusion” (a phrase Mueller did not use), and he cleared Trump of obstruction of justice. It was such a betrayal that Mueller (whom Barr had claimed was his good friend) complained about Barr’s misleading summary. Asked about the objections, Barr, under oath, falsely told Congress he knew nothing about them.

    Since then, Barr testified to Congress that “I think spying did occur” in the Russia probe, echoing Trump’s claim and earning a public contradiction by FBI Director Christopher A. Wray.

    Rewarding Trump loyalists’ demands, Barr appointed a prosecutor (in addition to the inspector general) to examine the Trump-Russia probe, which has mushroomed into a criminal investigation of the investigators. Among those leading the probe? Nora Dannehy, the special prosecutor who decided not to charge any members of the George W. Bush administration after the politically motivated firing of U.S. attorneys and subsequent lies about the actions.

    Further indulging Trump’s “witch hunt” claims, Barr traveled to Italy in search of evidence that would discredit the Trump-Russia investigation, and he reportedly asked the president to enlist the Australian and British governments in the effort. Trump named Barr during his infamous call with the Ukrainian president seeking investigations of Democrats and Joe Biden, according to the White House’s partial reconstruction: “I am also going to have Attorney General Barr call and we will get to the bottom of it.”

    The whistleblower got wind of this and said: “Attorney General Barr appears to be involved.” But the Justice Department — Barr’s Justice Department — declined to investigate, even though the CIA inspector general found the complaint “credible” and “urgent.” Barr, though named in the complaint, didn’t recuse himself, even as the Justice Department attempted to block the complaint from reaching Congress, as the law requires. Along the way, he embraced a White House legal strategy of defying subpoenas that has met with a string of defeats in the courts.

    Now, as part of the “distancing” campaign, Barr’s Justice Department would have us believe the attorney general never discussed with Trump the prospective Ukraine probe into the Bidens, didn’t talk to Trump lawyer Rudy Giuliani about Ukraine and didn’t know anything about the White House withholding aid to Ukraine.

    Why would anybody doubt the sincerity of such claims?

    Maybe Barr is getting queasy, with two of Giuliani’s Ukraine associates under indictment and Giuliani being turned down by four lawyers before finding representation. Maybe he’s unnerved by what he’s reading in the daily drop of impeachment depositions; on Thursday, another high-ranking State Department official testified about Giuliani’s campaign being “full of lies.” Maybe he even felt a pang of conscience.

    It doesn’t matter. During his confirmation hearing in January, Barr vowed to “protect the independence and the reputation of the department.” Instead, he destroyed the former and squandered the latter. We may never know why he ruined his reputation to serve as Trump’s mob lawyer. But it’s far too late for rehabilitation.
    There is a cult of ignorance in the United States, and there has always been. The strain of anti-intellectualism has been a constant thread winding its way through our political and cultural life, nurtured by the false notion that democracy means that "My ignorance is just as good as your knowledge."- Isaac Asimov

  8. #338
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    Quote Originally Posted by astralis View Post
    joe,
    the award for most depressing is a real toss-up. it's true there are fools like Paul Ryan whom thought they could GUIDE Trump, but even worse are the ones who DON'T CARE about the damage Trump is doing because they can advance their goals within the chaos like a sh*tty Littlefinger.

    Mitch McConnell, for instance.

    or how about someone like Bill Barr?
    ______


    We may never know why he ruined his reputation to serve as Trump’s mob lawyer. But it’s far too late for rehabilitation.

    Agreed, and the author of that forthcoming book about Trump even retracted his previous op-ed claim that there were still adults in the room working to deflect the worst of Trump's excesses.

    And people still think that Trump is a great leader, a great businessman, a great negotiator.

    Jfc I just don't get it.
    “You don’t even have to be convicted of a crime to lose your job in this constitutional republic if the Senate determines that your conduct as a public official is clearly out of bounds in your role… because impeachment is not about punishment. Impeachment is about cleansing the office. Impeachment is about restoring honor and integrity to the office.”
    ~ Lindsey Graham

    "The notion that you can withhold information and documents from Congress no matter whether you are the party in power or not in power is wrong. Respect for the rule of law must mean something, irrespective of the vicissitudes of political cycles."
    ~ Trey Gowdy

  9. #339
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    And people still think that Trump is a great leader, a great businessman, a great negotiator.

    Jfc I just don't get it.
    don't you recognize the SACRIFICES the Trump family have made??

    https://www.washingtonpost.com/polit...ces-he-writes/

    It was the day before his father was inaugurated president of the United States when the weight of the office first washed over Donald Trump Jr.

    President-elect Trump and the new first family were at Arlington National Cemetery, where Trump was to lay a wreath on the Tomb of the Unknowns.

    “I rarely get emotional, if ever,” Trump Jr. wrote in his new book, “Triggered: How the Left Thrives on Hate and Wants to Silence Us.” “Yet, as we drove past the rows of white grave markers, in the gravity of the moment, I had a deep sense of the importance of the presidency and a love of our country.”

    He also had another revelation as he watched his father standing in front of the tomb, surrounded by more than 400,000 graves, listening to the Army Band bugler playing taps: The Trump family had already suffered, he recalled thinking, and this was only the beginning.

    “In that moment, I also thought of all the attacks we’d already suffered as a family, and about all the sacrifices we’d have to make to help my father succeed — voluntarily giving up a huge chunk of our business and all international deals to avoid the appearance that we were ‘profiting off the office,’” Trump Jr. wrote.


    The book bills itself as a 300-page evisceration of PC culture — “the book that leftist elites don’t want you to read,” its Amazon page twice crows. In it, Trump Jr. writes, “A victimhood complex has taken root in the American left.” Yet, in his telling, the real victim is often him, his father or another Trump family member.
    There is a cult of ignorance in the United States, and there has always been. The strain of anti-intellectualism has been a constant thread winding its way through our political and cultural life, nurtured by the false notion that democracy means that "My ignorance is just as good as your knowledge."- Isaac Asimov

  10. #340
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    Quote Originally Posted by astralis View Post
    don't you recognize the SACRIFICES the Trump family have made??
    That little son of a bitch belongs in the same prison cell as the rest of his family.
    “You don’t even have to be convicted of a crime to lose your job in this constitutional republic if the Senate determines that your conduct as a public official is clearly out of bounds in your role… because impeachment is not about punishment. Impeachment is about cleansing the office. Impeachment is about restoring honor and integrity to the office.”
    ~ Lindsey Graham

    "The notion that you can withhold information and documents from Congress no matter whether you are the party in power or not in power is wrong. Respect for the rule of law must mean something, irrespective of the vicissitudes of political cycles."
    ~ Trey Gowdy

  11. #341
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    Trump Tax Case Should Be an Easy Supreme Court Call

    (Bloomberg Opinion) -- Some observers are wondering whether the Supreme Court will let President Donald Trump keep his tax records secret. With respect to presidential prerogatives, many fundamental issues remain open. Perhaps the current court will resolve this one in his favor?

    That's unlikely. Whatever one's political convictions, it's hard to object, on strictly legal grounds, to a federal appeals court decision this week rejecting Trump's effort to block a subpoena issued by New York prosecutors demanding the records.

    In fact, the case is so simple and straightforward that it wouldn't be terribly surprising if the justices decline to consider it at all.

    The appeals court ruled on Monday that Trump’s accounting firm, Mazars USA LLP, must comply with a grand jury subpoena for eight years of personal and corporate financial and tax records. The court rejected Trump’s extraordinary claim that the subpoena should be enjoined because a president enjoys “temporary absolute immunity” — meaning that he cannot be subject to any kind of criminal process while in office.

    The court was clearly right. As other commentators have noted, the legal issue isn’t close and Supreme Court precedents seem to weigh against the White House. What deserves more attention is the sharp difference between the president’s entirely reasonable view on a fundamental question (whether he can be prosecuted) and his entirely unreasonable view on the question here (whether his tax records can be subpoenaed).


    To see that difference, we have to back up a bit.

    The issue here involves the presidency, not any particular president. To settle a dispute about the meaning of the Constitution, it shouldn’t matter whether you think Trump is a terrific president or a terrible one.

    Trump was probably correct on a fundamental and unsettled question: So long as he is serving, the commander in chief cannot be subject to an actual criminal prosecution.

    Two different arguments support that conclusion. The first is that the Constitution’s impeachment provisions can be read to suggest that in the context of presidential wrongdoing, the appropriate response is removal from office, not criminal prosecution. If a president is to be prosecuted, it must be after he has been removed, not before.

    The second (and in my view stronger) argument insists on “implied” immunity: If the president is forced to defend himself against a criminal prosecution, he will have a much harder time doing his job.

    If you have to worry about a potential jail sentence, and fend off a prosecutor, it’s not easy to make the most fundamental decisions about war and peace, or about the direction of the economy. The point isn’t that the president is “above the law.” It’s that he has an assortment of constitutional responsibilities, and he has to be able to discharge them.

    For that reason, his immunity from criminal prosecution shouldn’t be seen as a shield intended to protect him personally. It’s designed to protect the American people.

    But in this week’s case, Trump tried to use that argument in a context in which it doesn’t make even a little bit of sense.

    In New York, the district attorney’s office has initiated a grand jury investigation with respect to potential crimes by several organizations and individuals, including Trump. As part of that investigation, it served a subpoena on Mazars, custodian of multiple financial records relating to Trump’s personal and business dealings. The subpoena seeks an assortment of such records, including Trump’s tax returns.

    In response to Trump’s broad claim of absolute immunity, the appeals court resorted to a form of judicial minimalism. It pointedly declined to resolve the question whether a sitting president could be prosecuted. It said, far more modestly, that nothing in the Constitution forbids enforcement of a subpoena directing a third party (rather than the president personally) to produce materials that are themselves not “privileged” by the Constitution.

    The court was careful to emphasize that the subpoena did not seek information about activities undertaken by the president in his official capacity. Nor could Trump claim executive privilege, because the records sought by the district attorney did not include any conversations between Trump and his White House advisers.

    Here’s the basic point: Nothing in the Constitution gives the president a right to enjoin a subpoena issued to third parties who hold his records. The impeachment clause creates no such right. And if a prosecutor obtains those records, it would be pretty wild to say that a president would be rendered unable to do his job.

    Most observers think that the Supreme Court will agree to hear Trump’s objections. That’s a reasonable prediction: A constitutional conflict between a prosecutor and a president is likely to get the justices’ attention.

    But don’t be sure. The Supreme Court doesn’t take a lot of easy cases, and this is an easy one. And if the Court does take it — out of respect for the presidency — the best bet is that Trump’s outlandish argument will receive the skeptical reaction that it deserves.
    _____________

    I don't know what would be more satisfying: The Supreme Court declining to take the case or taking the case and decisively ruling against Trump. Either way, he's run out of his usual go-to places of safety.
    “You don’t even have to be convicted of a crime to lose your job in this constitutional republic if the Senate determines that your conduct as a public official is clearly out of bounds in your role… because impeachment is not about punishment. Impeachment is about cleansing the office. Impeachment is about restoring honor and integrity to the office.”
    ~ Lindsey Graham

    "The notion that you can withhold information and documents from Congress no matter whether you are the party in power or not in power is wrong. Respect for the rule of law must mean something, irrespective of the vicissitudes of political cycles."
    ~ Trey Gowdy

  12. #342
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    Federal Judge Rebukes Trump In Speech: 'This Is Not Normal'

    A federal judge in Washington, D.C., warned against President Donald Trump’s penchant for lambasting members of the judiciary who rule against him, calling the president’s attacks “uncharted territory” during a speech attended by several Trump appointees.

    “We are witnessing a chief executive who criticizes virtually every judicial decision that doesn’t go his way and denigrates judges who rule against him, sometimes in very personal terms,” U.S. District Judge Paul Friedman said at the Judge Thomas A. Flannery Lecture in Washington, according to the National Law Journal. “He seems to view the courts and the justice system as obstacles to be attacked and undermined, not as a co-equal branch to be respected even when he disagrees with its decisions.”

    “This is not normal,” added Friedman, who was appointed by President Bill Clinton. “And I mean that both in the colloquial sense and in the sense that this kind of personal attack on courts and individual judges violates all recognized democratic norms.”

    Friedman recounted examples of Trump attacking judges who made rulings he considered unfavorable.

    Trump has regularly demeaned judges and the judiciary, as well as independent government agencies, suggesting they should serve him, not the country. For instance, in 2017, Trump referred to federal Judge James Robart, who blocked the initial version of Trump’s Muslim ban, as “this so-called judge.”

    During his 2016 campaign, Trump infamously attacked Judge Gonzalo Curiel, overseeing a case involving the then-presidential candidate’s fraudulent Trump University, by claiming the judge was biased because of his “Mexican heritage.” Curiel, whose parents immigrated to the U.S. from Mexico, was born and raised in Indiana.

    “His introduction of such personal ad hominem attacks against the judge set a terrible precedent and encouraged others to join the chorus,” Friedman said of Trump’s racist slap at Curiel. “This was beyond a dog whistle. This was a shout.”

    Friedman received a standing ovation after the speech, according to the National Law Journal. Among the event’s attendees were several Trump appointees, including Jessie Liu, the top federal prosecutor for D.C., as well as former Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein.

    Some Republican-appointed judges have also expressed concern about the president’s attacks, including Supreme Court Justices John Roberts and Neil Gorsuch, the latter of whom Trump appointed (though when pressed about the attacks during his Senate confirmation hearing in 2017, Gorsuch would not condemn Trump directly).

    In response to Roberts’ remarks last year, Trump attacked him on Twitter.
    ________

    Trump will attack every last one of the foundations and institutions of this country and not leave not a single stone upon a stone before he finally goes down.

    And still his supporters will defend him, make excuses for him, worship him like Second Coming of the Christ.

    His downfall can't come soon enough.
    “You don’t even have to be convicted of a crime to lose your job in this constitutional republic if the Senate determines that your conduct as a public official is clearly out of bounds in your role… because impeachment is not about punishment. Impeachment is about cleansing the office. Impeachment is about restoring honor and integrity to the office.”
    ~ Lindsey Graham

    "The notion that you can withhold information and documents from Congress no matter whether you are the party in power or not in power is wrong. Respect for the rule of law must mean something, irrespective of the vicissitudes of political cycles."
    ~ Trey Gowdy

  13. #343
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    So Trumpkin man child is considering going to Moscow for "May Day"? Well they no longer have a 'May Day' but do have a "Victory Day" still to commemoration the 'Great Patriotic War' (or what we call WW2). This is the shindig with missiles et al paraded in front an elderly dictator and his yes men... still much the same. I can think of more fitting than for Trumpkin to attend his Masters parade and lick his rear end a little more before he goes to jail.

  14. #344
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    Quote Originally Posted by snapper View Post
    So Trumpkin man child is considering going to Moscow for "May Day"? Well they no longer have a 'May Day' but do have a "Victory Day" still to commemoration the 'Great Patriotic War' (or what we call WW2). This is the shindig with missiles et al paraded in front an elderly dictator and his yes men... still much the same. I can think of more fitting than for Trumpkin to attend his Masters parade and lick his rear end a little more before he goes to jail.
    Yeah that is an absolutely PERFECT event for Donald Trump. Everything about it appeals to his basest cravings. Not to mention, as you said, a chance to thank his financial and political benefactor in person.
    “You don’t even have to be convicted of a crime to lose your job in this constitutional republic if the Senate determines that your conduct as a public official is clearly out of bounds in your role… because impeachment is not about punishment. Impeachment is about cleansing the office. Impeachment is about restoring honor and integrity to the office.”
    ~ Lindsey Graham

    "The notion that you can withhold information and documents from Congress no matter whether you are the party in power or not in power is wrong. Respect for the rule of law must mean something, irrespective of the vicissitudes of political cycles."
    ~ Trey Gowdy

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    Trump continues daily to shock with his outlandish behavior and buffoonery, however, I still find it hard to get my head around the fact that somewhere from 42% to 47% of Americans are going to vote him after all this, in 2020 over any Democrat, even a relative moderate like Biden.

    It has made reconsider some of my beliefs about democracy or that a republic would ensure a better quality of leaders than authoritarian regimes over the longer term. While ofcourse there are several instances from the 20th century of a fascist party (or a far left party) coming to power via a democratic election I still find it quite amazing that Trump with his clownish antics, offensive statements, petty attacks and occasional forays to fascist dog whistles would nevertheless get 46% of the vote in a country like the United States with a long history of democracy, stable institutions and a free media.
    Last edited by InExile; 10 Nov 19, at 04:55.

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