THE IMPEACHMENT SPECTACLE CONTINUES

8 12 2019

I said in last month’s show that the “tree of possibilities” stemming from the impeachment effort was more complex than I had time for in that particular program. Since then, I have found an excellent expression of it at one of my favorite news blogs, “Moon of Alabama,” and I’m going to take the liberty of quoting that blog and offering my comments on what Moon’s author has written.

Here’s some of what “Mr. Moon” wrote:

If more Democratic swing-state representatives defect from the impeachment camp, which seems likely, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi will have a big problem. How can she proceed?

  • If the House votes down impeachment Donald Trump wins.
  • If the House holds no vote on the issue Donald Trump wins.
  • If the House votes for censure Donald Trump will have won on points and the issue will be over.
  • If the House votes for impeachment the case goes to the Senate for trial.

The Republican led Senate has two choices:

  • It can decide to not open an impeachment trial by simply voting against impeachment. Trump wins.
  • It can open an impeachment trial, use it to extensively hurt the Democrats and, in the end, vote against impeachment. Trump wins big time.

Should the House vote for impeachment the Senate is likely to go the second path.

During impeachment the whole Senate sits as the High Court. The House of Representatives sends ‘managers’ who act as prosecutors. The chief justice of the U.S. presides. A vote for impeachment at the end of the trial requires a two-thirds majority.

The Republican majority in the Senate could use such a trial to bring disarray into the Democrats’ primary. Elizabeth Warren, Bernie Sanders, Kamala Harris, Cory Booker, Amy Klobuchar and Michael Bennet are all senators and Democratic primary candidates. They would probably have to stop campaigning to attend the trials. Another leading Democratic candidate would be a top witness.

The Republican senators would immediately call up a number of people for questioning. These would include Joe Biden, Hunter Biden, his business partner Devon Archer, John Kerry who was Secretary of State when Biden intervened for Burisma owner Mykola Zlochevsky and of course the CIA spy and (not-)whistleblower Erik Ciaramella. It would also be of interest to hear how deeply the former CIA director John Brennan was involved in the issue.

The Senators could use the impeachment trial to dig into all the crimes the Democrats under Obama committed in Ukraine. They would concentrate not on the Maidan coup but on the aftermath when the deals were made. There surely is a lot of dirt out there and it is not only Joe Biden’s.

Then there is Russiagate. Did the Obama administration use illegal means to spy on the Trump campaign? Sincethe issue is related to whatever Trump did there, there is good reason to include it into the trial.

The circus the Senate would open if the House votes for impeachment would play for many many months. The media would be full of this or that crime some Democrat or deep state actor supposedly committed. All this would play out during the election season.

An impeachment trial in the Senate would be a disaster for the Democrats.

I can not see why the Democrats would want to fall into such a trap. House leader Nancy Pelosi is experienced enough to not let that happen. But she will have to do some serious talking to convince the party that a vote on impeachment is not the best way to proceed.

In the week and a half since this was written, Ms. Pelosi has made the decision to go ahead with impeachment. This may turn out to be the equivalent of General Custer deciding that he had what it took to wipe out that Native American encampment on Little Big Horn Creek.

I titled this post “The Impeachment Spectacle Continues.” “Spectacle” is the operative word in that phrase, From what I have seen, there is frequently quite a gap between what corporate, and even some “alternative” media, report, and what actually takes place. It appears as if, in reality, the case for impeachment has been repeatedly discredited as thoroughly as Russiagate, but, just as with Russiagate, corporate media aren’t acknowledging the shaky nature of the Democrats’ case, and are relying on loud, emotional repetition to convince the public.

Screenshot_2019-12-07 Aaron Maté on Twitter

The article concludes:

The whole impeachment show did little damage to Trump. His approval numbers are still fine. The show has given Trump another chance to run as the underdog who will drain the swamp in Washington DC. A major Democratic candidate is now damaged goods. Joe Biden no longer has any chance to win the presidency and it would be astonishing if he survives the primaries. U.S. relations with the Ukraine have also been seriously damaged.

All this was easily predictable two months ago when the Democrats launched their impeachment show:

Instead of running on policy issues the Democrats will (again) try to find vague dirt with which they can tarnish Trump. This is a huge political mistake. It will help Trump to win his reelection.After two years of falsely accusing Trump of having colluded with Russia they now allege that he colludes with Ukraine. That will make it much more difficult for the Democrats to hide the dirty hands they had in creating Russiagate. Their currently preferred candidate, Joe Biden, will get damaged.

The Democrats are giving Trump the best campaign aid he could have wished for. Trump will again present himself as the victim of a witch hunt. He will again argue that he is the only one on the side of the people. That he alone stands with them against the bad politicians in Washington DC. Millions will believe him and support him on this. It will motivate them to vote for him.

The Democrats should ask themselves how they put themselves into the current situation. Who was the genius who came up with the (not-)whistleblower idea and pushed for the move? The shallow-brained Adam Schiff? The devious John Brennan?

Whoever it was, the Democrats should shun that person before s/he creates more damage to their party.

However, the Democrats have shown, by inducing Deval Patrick and Michael Bloomberg to enter the race, that they have no intention of becoming the left-wing political party this country so desperately needs. In almost every other democracy on the planet, we are seeing center-right parties like the Democrats (and pre-Trump Republicans) crash and burn because voters recognize that these parties’ neo-liberal answers don’t make sense. In any other democracy on the planet, that country’s Green Party, or a similarly populist, egalitarian, ecologically-minded party, is seeing its electoral share surge.

In these United States, however, our two corporate parties, and our overwhelmingly corporate media, have done all they can to make it difficult for such parties to gain any traction. Ballot access is expensive and difficult. Winner-take-all elections and the lack of proportional representation marginalize smaller parties and make it difficult for them to grow. And, last but not least, corporate media outlets ignore or ridicule attempts to broaden the scope of acceptable political discourse. Can The Green Party overcome these obstacles before the system implodes? We’ll soon be finding out.

Terry Allen, “The Doll


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