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The case for normalizing impeachment


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#1 AnBr

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Posted 30 November 2017 - 10:55 PM

https://www.vox.com/...nt-donald-trump

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Impeaching an unfit president has consequences. But leaving one in office could be worse.

In recent months, I have grown obsessed with a seemingly simple question: Does the American political system have a remedy if we elect the wrong person to be president? There are clear answers if we elect a criminal, or if the president falls into a coma. But what if we just make a hiring mistake, as companies do all the time? What if we elect someone who proves himself or herself unfit for office — impulsive, conspiratorial, undisciplined, destructive, cruel?

My fixation on this question began with President Donald Trump’s tweets to North Korea’s Kim Jong Un. This was the president of the United States, the man who controls the world’s largest nuclear arsenal, launching deranged, unvetted provocations at the most singularly irrational regime in the world

"Science is more than a body of knowledge; it is a way of thinking. I have a foreboding of an America in my children's or grandchildren's time - when the United States is a service and information economy; when nearly all the key manufacturing industries have slipped away to other countries; when awesome technological powers arc in the hands of a very few, and no one representing the public interest can even grasp the issues; when the people have lost the ability to set their own agendas or knowledgeably question those in authority; when, clutching our crystals and nervously consulting our horoscopes, our critical faculties in decline, unable to distinguish between what feels good and what's true, we slide, almost without noticing, back into superstition and darkness.

— Carl Sagan
The Demon-Haunted World: Science as a Candle in the Dark
1995


“As democracy is perfected, the office of president represents, more and more closely, the inner soul of the people. On some great and glorious day the plain folks of the land will reach their heart's desire at last and the White House will be adorned by a downright moron.”

— H.L. Mencken
On Politics: A Carnival of Buncombe


“The test of our progress is not whether we add more to the abundance of those who have much; it is whether we provide enough for those who have too little.”

— Franklin Delano Roosevelt
Second inaugural address January, 1937

#2 Practical Girl

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Posted 01 December 2017 - 10:45 AM

No, we shouldn't "normalize" impeachment, specifically because it is a political process, as noted in the article. Do recall that word being bandied about during both of Obama's terms. GOPers in the halls of Congress would have loved to kick his ass to the curb- governing while being black, dontcha know? Good god- who wants their vote negated by a bunch of bought-and-paid for folks?

No. The US government isn't even close to being a for-profit business, and cannot be ruled like one. Even though many of our Congress-critters and Senators come from that environment, and couldn't work their way through Constitutional process to save their lives. Or ours.

Yes. I would like to see our Administrative leaders stand up and check Trump's BS. No. The ruling class, right now, doesn't have the heart nor the knowledge to do it. If we accept this process right now, because we hate the reality star in office, then we MUST accept it, next time, when the "other side" hates his/her guts- wrong person elected. Hey, let's impeach, before he/she does something crazy like give a poor person a path to healthcare. Or affordable childcare. Or- god forbid- a way to get nutrition for the kiddos.

I don't take hijacking of our system lightly. I believe in its value. Yes. This is our system. Rather than fuck around with political means to negate the electorate,. how's about we get in there and actually show them the best way forward.

If there are people out there who have true concerns, get out of the shadows. If it is scary enough, it can be sold to the American people.

Until then? Trump will stay on the island- as, unfortunately, he should, as elected by a free and well defined process.
Every woman needs a blowtorch.
---Julia Child


--- On September 17, 1787, as Benjamin Franklin was leaving the deliberations of the Constitutional Convention, at Independence Hall, in Philadelphia, a woman called out to him, saying, “Well, Doctor, what have we got, a republic or a monarchy?”
“A republic,” Franklin said, “if you can keep it.”


--- LFC, on Gorsuch ruling: "Awesome. A Christianist who swore an oath to uphold the laws of the nation and bore false witness when he did it"

#3 golden_valley

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Posted 01 December 2017 - 12:15 PM

Over the years the structure of American government has been based on an implicit and certainly unspoken premise that the people running for office and winning the office are people who are rational and intellectually capable of understanding what their role in government is. Trump certainly doesn't understand what his role is and his rationality...well...maybe someday we'll know.
And perhaps the election was influenced by country that is also accused of interfering or influencing other elections in European countries.

The existence of the 3 coequal branches was supposed to prevent abuses, but again, that relied on the implicit understanding that the people in those branches will recognize when one branch is off the rails. It ain't happening between Congress (which mostly has done nothing but is on the verge of doing something very big) and the Presidency. The judiciary might be a check on abuses but we see the number of vacancies in the federal courts and the people that are being nominated to fill them. I am not hopeful for the future of the judiciary in this regard.

We have no mechanism to deal with any of this. Waiting 4 years for the next presidential election or even 2 years for a change in Congress strikes me as inadequate given the amount of damage that can be done during those years. It just gives someone like Trump and the Congress time to entrench their people in the judiciary, to damage the regulatory structures, and to create messes that will take years and years to remedy.

So what's the solution? I wish I had one. All I see in the future is more winner take all, our team won so suck it! behavior.

#4 baw1064

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Posted 01 December 2017 - 04:49 PM

What if someone had actually hacked the vote count, changed the result, and it weren't discovered until after the electoral college voted? The Constitution doesn't provide any other remedy besides impeachment.
“Unless someone like you cares a whole awful lot, Nothing is going to get better. It's not.” --Dr. Seuss

#5 nuser

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Posted 01 December 2017 - 05:08 PM

Golden
Praying to the Lord Hasus that he would take him Home.


#6 Progressive whisperer

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Posted 01 December 2017 - 05:27 PM

Trump is the symptom, today’s GOP is the disease.

The plutocrats build a party based on rage and stupid, and have made it clear to their minions that with total control there WILL be a repayment or they fund a different set of tools.

Meanwhile the base says “Sure, Roy Boy molested children, but otherwise I’d have to vote for a n*er lovin’ Democrat... that ain’t gonna happen! Besides, it sure does piss off the libs!”.

Dump is just making the rot obvious.
Trump delenda est.
GOP delenda est.
Resist!

#7 nuser

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Posted 01 December 2017 - 06:57 PM

P.W
Same crowd when in a disaster where most people die,
A lone survivor will proclaim : the Lord Jesus spared me!
May one ask ,why were the others not?

#8 AnBr

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Posted 01 December 2017 - 07:47 PM

View PostProgressive whisperer, on 01 December 2017 - 05:27 PM, said:

Trump is the symptom, today’s GOP is the disease.

The plutocrats build a party based on rage and stupid, and have made it clear to their minions that with total control there WILL be a repayment or they fund a different set of tools.

Meanwhile the base says “Sure, Roy Boy molested children, but otherwise I’d have to vote for a n*er lovin’ Democrat... that ain’t gonna happen! Besides, it sure does piss off the libs!”.

Dump is just making the rot obvious.

Agree, but I think commandeer a party is the phrase you are looking for, not build
"Science is more than a body of knowledge; it is a way of thinking. I have a foreboding of an America in my children's or grandchildren's time - when the United States is a service and information economy; when nearly all the key manufacturing industries have slipped away to other countries; when awesome technological powers arc in the hands of a very few, and no one representing the public interest can even grasp the issues; when the people have lost the ability to set their own agendas or knowledgeably question those in authority; when, clutching our crystals and nervously consulting our horoscopes, our critical faculties in decline, unable to distinguish between what feels good and what's true, we slide, almost without noticing, back into superstition and darkness.

— Carl Sagan
The Demon-Haunted World: Science as a Candle in the Dark
1995


“As democracy is perfected, the office of president represents, more and more closely, the inner soul of the people. On some great and glorious day the plain folks of the land will reach their heart's desire at last and the White House will be adorned by a downright moron.”

— H.L. Mencken
On Politics: A Carnival of Buncombe


“The test of our progress is not whether we add more to the abundance of those who have much; it is whether we provide enough for those who have too little.”

— Franklin Delano Roosevelt
Second inaugural address January, 1937

#9 baw1064

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Posted 02 December 2017 - 03:44 AM

 golden_valley, on 01 December 2017 - 12:15 PM, said:

All I see in the future is more winner take all, our team won so suck it! behavior.

And, it almost goes without saying, three or four rounds of escalating rounds of this, and the country breaks apart. The only thing the two sides will agree on is they don't want to live in the same country.
“Unless someone like you cares a whole awful lot, Nothing is going to get better. It's not.” --Dr. Seuss

#10 Progressive whisperer

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Posted 03 December 2017 - 09:28 AM

 AnBr, on 01 December 2017 - 07:47 PM, said:



Agree, but I think commandeer a party is the phrase you are looking for, not build

The plutocrats have always been in the GOP, pro-business Whigs was one of the parties forming them. Maybe the racists who fled the Democrats after Civil Rights became a key element that commendered the party, but it’s the plutocrats who seem to be getting what they want.
Trump delenda est.
GOP delenda est.
Resist!

#11 AnBr

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Posted 03 December 2017 - 10:51 AM

 Progressive whisperer, on 03 December 2017 - 09:28 AM, said:

The plutocrats have always been in the GOP, pro-business Whigs was one of the parties forming them. Maybe the racists who fled the Democrats after Civil Rights became a key element that commendered the party, but it’s the plutocrats who seem to be getting what they want.

Yes, what was left of the Whigs were one of the groups that coalesced to start the party, but that was not the only group. It became a very different party than that of the Whigs. Republicans were champions of the Homestead Act. They were for infrastructure (Transcontinental Railroad). For free market labor as in "Free Soil, Free Labor, Free Men." They worked to expand federal power. They were proponents of social justice and black equality and after the Civil War, Republicans passed laws to grant protections for blacks and advanced social justice. Not to mention that they were anti free trade.

https://www.washingt...m=.ea00663a932c

Quote

In 1862 , in the midst of the Civil War, Republican Justin Smith Morrill stood in Congress to defend his party’s invention: an income tax . The government had the right to demand 99 percent of a man’s property, the Vermont representative thundered. If the nation needs it, “the property of the people . . . belongs to the government .” The Republican Congress passed the income tax — as well as a spate of other taxes — and went on to create a strong national government. By the time the war ended, the GOP had invented national banking , currency and taxation ; had provided schools and homes for poor Americans; and had freed the country’s 4 million slaves.

It is later that the corporatists asserted themselves. This resulted in Theodore Roosevelt and the birth of the Progressive Era.
"Science is more than a body of knowledge; it is a way of thinking. I have a foreboding of an America in my children's or grandchildren's time - when the United States is a service and information economy; when nearly all the key manufacturing industries have slipped away to other countries; when awesome technological powers arc in the hands of a very few, and no one representing the public interest can even grasp the issues; when the people have lost the ability to set their own agendas or knowledgeably question those in authority; when, clutching our crystals and nervously consulting our horoscopes, our critical faculties in decline, unable to distinguish between what feels good and what's true, we slide, almost without noticing, back into superstition and darkness.

— Carl Sagan
The Demon-Haunted World: Science as a Candle in the Dark
1995


“As democracy is perfected, the office of president represents, more and more closely, the inner soul of the people. On some great and glorious day the plain folks of the land will reach their heart's desire at last and the White House will be adorned by a downright moron.”

— H.L. Mencken
On Politics: A Carnival of Buncombe


“The test of our progress is not whether we add more to the abundance of those who have much; it is whether we provide enough for those who have too little.”

— Franklin Delano Roosevelt
Second inaugural address January, 1937

#12 gmat

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Posted 06 December 2017 - 06:10 PM

I am troubled by all this impeachment talk, because I think it is an escapist fantasy that keeps intelligent people from deploying their attention and energy more effectively elsewhere.

And when I use the term “impeachment” Imean “impeachment and conviction”.

I believe that, even should the Dems gain majorities in both chambers, Trump will always have at least 34 Republican Senators who assess their prospects for re-election as best served by voting against conviction

#13 indy

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Posted 06 December 2017 - 06:27 PM

That depends on what the objective is. If the objective is to gain a conviction then, yes, it's probably a waste of time.

#14 JackD

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Posted 06 December 2017 - 07:03 PM

And Trump could pull a full Clinton and get his base and the Republicans in general behind him as the Democrats were behind Clinton after his acquittal.

#15 golden_valley

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Posted 06 December 2017 - 07:10 PM

Don't you wonder though how history will judge us? Look at the man and his behavior. He isn't suited to the job. Any of us would have fired a person like that if we had the authority to do it or at least tried to move him to a position where he couldn't damage the business. So why aren't we doing that? Does impeachment really only have to come after proven criminal behavior?

#16 indy

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Posted 06 December 2017 - 07:17 PM

View Postgolden_valley, on 06 December 2017 - 07:10 PM, said:

Don't you wonder though how history will judge us?

I think the ship has sailed. All that is left is to steer the best course, and I don't mind tossing some things overboard, including a few prized possessions and some moral clarity, if it avoids the rocks.

#17 JackD

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Posted 06 December 2017 - 08:01 PM

'Does impeachment really only have to come after proven criminal behavior?" No; it's whatever Congress (House and Senate) decide it is.

#18 indy

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Posted 06 December 2017 - 08:22 PM

Section 2, Article 4 specifies impeachment can be for treason, bribery, and 'other high crimes and misdemeanors'. That was a pretty well understood phrase at the time, and historically covered a whole range of behavior including, interestingly enough, the appointment of unfit persons to governmental positions. For that alone, I would support impeaching Trump. Historically, many impeachments were the result of crimes, legally speaking, but many were not.





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