The McConnell-Trump impeachment game

That is the topic of my latest Bloomberg column, here is one key excerpt:

A second factor, however, pushes in the opposite direction. If Trump is viewed as too corrupt, too poisonous or too unreliable by swing voters, some of these senators also run the risk of losing their jobs. These senators therefore wish to rein in Trump, if only for selfish reasons. Trump and his policies are not very popular, as illustrated by numerous polls. And some senators might decide that loyalty to country, and to the future of the world, also argues for constraining Trump.

Reining in Trump does not have to mean forcing the leopard to change its spots, which is probably impossible anyway. But it could mean nudging Trump to be less outrageous: Don’t respond to the Ukraine accusations by encouraging China to investigate Joe Biden’s son, for example. Be more careful in your dealings with Turkey and the Kurds. Refrain from calling Never Trump Republicans “human scum.”

OK, so now to take the next step: How can these senators possibly check Trump? The threat of impeachment is their most potent weapon…

The upshot is that McConnell’s power over the president is growing. These are exactly the kinds of wrist slaps Trump notices.

The question, of course, is how Trump will respond to critical signals from Republican senators. My guess is that he will not play a cooperative “tit for tat” strategy, trading signals in a rational manner to keep senators in line and proceeding toward an orderly resolution of the impeachment judgment from the House. Rather, the signals sent his way might enrage him or raise his stress level to the point where he behaves less rationally than usual. Then the Senate will have to work all the harder to constrain Trump, thereby upping the stakes — and the stress — once again.

We will see.


One thing's for sure, you'd never see Democrat Senators do anything but march in lockstep with their impeached President. Yet more proof there's one party in America and one rearguard.

It's Democratic senators, not Democrat senators. Would you like it if I called them Repub senators?

Repub and Democrat, it fits both parties.
What should we call Liz Cheney, a senator from Wyoming where Cheyenne is the largest town at 60,000? The population is 500,000 and declining.

What do we call Bernie? He was elected head of the Burlington retirement community in a state with 500,000 dying old people.

Well China is where Joe Biden's son committed crimes so China is where it should be investigated...

It is interesting that in the article "Trump and his policies are not very popular". Really!! Have you seen the rallies. Did you forget that about 65 million voters voted for Trump. It is true that China and many globalist don't like his policies. If it were true that Trump was so disliked the Democrat party wouldn't need to risk the impeachment fiasco to try to dirty Trump in the hope he isn't reelected.

Seriously, He is constantly breaking fundraising records for the RNC, where is Typer getting this idea that he is unpopular with Republicans? 95% approval rating with Republicans... What is Tyler talking about?

He's taking from mood affiliation.

@AndrewL, Tyler didn't say unpopular with GOP. Just unpopular. There is a difference.

but why would Republican senators want to "reign in" Trump? It would be going against the will of their own constituents. It doesn't make any sense.

That's pure populism, the will of the people over the law.

By the way, speaking of the will of the people!

Booed by losers LOL,lock_state=final,game_tab=box,game=599375

Republicans :: Republican -> Republican Senator
Democrats :: Democrat -> Democrat Senator

The correct term is Democrat

You may want to review your elementary school grammar, with a focus on adjectives vs nouns

The Dem's own Ethics Committee just forced out a House rep for a staffer relationship. Let's see if the Republicans will do the same with their own sexual offender in office.

Well to be fair, Trump has never flashed his pubic iron cross tattoo while smoking a bong.

Of course not, Trump loves a good golden shower when he's in Moscow.

I thought he was a tee totaler. Seems he’s a pee totaler.

There are no viable third parties in the US. And there never will be. That's because the barriers to entry for parties are steep and vary considerably across states. It would take billions of dollars, 50 different state organizations, and considerable legal know-how to field 535 congressional candidates and serious presidential contenders as third-party alternatives. And even if this were possible, a third party would simply act as a spoiler and guarantee victory to either the Democrats or the Republicans, election after election. If the third party were left-of-center, it would split the liberal vote and allow the Republicans to walk away with the presidency and congressional majorities. And if it were right-of-center, the opposite would happen. Stop hoping for a pipe dream and, instead, vote for the lesser evil. Right now, in my view, that means voting against the party that represents the greater threat to democratic vales and procedures.

The kind of opinion you would expect from someone who gets his news from the NYT and WP.

I'm genuinely fascinated by the psychology of people who are so happy and eager to give that which doesn't even add up to two cents.

It is not opinion. It is game theory, a subfield of the prestigious study of economics. One that has a storied tradition of Nobel Prizes in economics. Science cares not about your mood affiliation.

Tyler's column reads heavy on the opinion and light on the Game Theory. I agree with Tyler's opinion, but it's clearly not a rigorous example of Game Theory.

Here's the problem for Republicans. Trump needs the Senate vote on conviction to be cast purely along party lines, while McConnell needs it to be whatever increases the likelihood of maintaining a Republican majority in the Senate. The two things are very different.

If three or five Republican senators vote for conviction, that allows the Democratic presidential nominee to claim even members of Trump's own party think he's unfit. So any Republican defections are a proverbial kiss of death for Trump. But for McConnell, he needs to let members in swing states vote according to their reelection interests. That might require some of them, like Senators Collins, Murkowski, and Gardner, to vote against Trump.

It's going to be really interesting to see what unfolds over the next six months.

From today's WP:

“At some point, McConnell is going to have to perform triage to save the majority,” said Rick Wilson, a longtime GOP consultant and Trump critic. “How the Senate Republicans handle everything is all going to come down to how threatened Mitch feels and how worried he is about losing Colorado, North Carolina and a few others states. And if Trump’s numbers keep dropping, that decision is going to come sooner than later for him.”

>It's going to be really interesting to see what unfolds over the next six months.

Yeah, because there's an election coming up immediately afterwards. We really need to decide about undoing the results of the last election before we hold another one. You know, For The Country And Democracy.

Do you want future presidents to do what Trump has done and use the country's national security powers for his own political benefit? I don't. That's what impeachment is about, enforcing constitutional limits.

For many, many decades, we have had imperial presidents; it's long past time to restrain them.

Senators like Collins, Gardener, and Murkowski can't save their seats by voting to convict. They might be stupid and believe this story, but it isn't so. You don't pick up any additional support by voting to convict Trump- you will lose more than you gain by a large margin. If you are Republican running for reelection in 2020 or 2022 and vote to convict, then you may as well just resign at the end of the term.

An example of the kind of mendacious reporting by the Democracy dies in darkness folks.

Suppose each (say Republican) Senator chooses Defect/Hold and aims to match the politics of his state’s median voter. Also suppose constituents are unsure of how far to the left/right/center their Senators are. Then a sort if conviction contagion can occur. If centrist conservative Mitt Romney announces he will Defect, then (1) the expected political position conditional on Defect moves to the right, and (2) the expected political position conditional on Hold also moves to the right. This implies that any change of vote by the marginal Senator will be a switch from Hold to Defect.

"Also suppose constituents are unsure"
The largest town in Wyoming is electing a new Senator. That town of 60,000 knows exactly what it wants, a Federal summer jobs program. It is existential, without the summer jobs program the state population will drop to near zero in a few years.
Cheyenne voters will pursue galactic collapse if they do not get a federal summer jobs program. Trump is so far off their radar on the issue it is laughable. Ditto for about six other nearly extinct and dying small states.

As opposed to IL, NY, etc. that are populated by more government employees, welfare recipients, and felons than tax payers.

yawn. another vacuous hit piece on Trump.
The media has been packed with this contrived nonsense for years.
The angelic Democrats and Deep State conspirators get a complete pass.

What President Donald J. Trump is doing to America . . . Killing terrorists, restoring economic prosperity, putting Main Street Americans ahead of Silicon Valley/Wall Street billionaires, making America great again, . . .

Did someone say Trump (I mean "pigface")?


> "And some senators might decide that loyalty to country, and to the future of the world, also argues for constraining Trump."

Or loyalty to country and to the future of the world means supporting the President of the US. The writing is unreasonably biased.

Nah. It's time to impeach the bastard. Yeah, I'm biased.

I’d be unhappy about impeachment, because of what it means for the country.

You don’t like him? Beat him in next year’s election. I suspect the Democratic plan is to get voters so tired of the shenanigans that they’ll vote out Trump just to bring everything to a close.

If you don't impeach Trump, then that means the next cast of clowns will be even more flagrant in violating the Constitution. The people must set the tone for what they want out of their leaders. THAT is what it means for the country not your personal happiness.

Really? Does either party have a holding pen full of Trump-style potential candidates? I'm guessing no.

Running the guy out of office to teach his (very, very) devout fans a lesson may make you feel virtuous, but it more likely would cause them to form ranks around another hothead who would arise to seize the banner. Remember, populism is trending worldwide these days.

Better to run a more credible candidate in 2020.

Instead they vilify their only candidate that seems to be not insane.

Respectfully, political power, will remain an aberration to most of us.
Attempting rationale everyday interpretations is bound to fail.

Suggest trying to understand and summarize two experts:

Niccolo Machiavelli, The Prince

as interpreted / translated by Angelo Codevilla in Chapter "Words and Power" [Yale University Press.]

McConnell's best strategy: Survival instincts for the Republican party will prevail: impeachment before April so that some stable Republicans can enter the race.

As for Tyler's game: McConnell has enough power already, and his power can only be exercised, with respect to legislation, by negotiating with the House.

The game theory model posited in the article omits one actor: Nancy Pelosi, if the game were for McConnell to get some type of legislative reward.

If he is impeached by the House, and it is sent to the Senate for trial, it is a hot, hot potato for the Senators. Long before that, some Senators will have to visit the President for a talk, as they did with Nixon.

Before impeachment begins, Democratic congressional candidates should have their opponent's picture taken in front of a "Trump 2020 poster" wearing a MAGA hat.

if the Republican candidate demurs, that's a story also.

Embrace your fears. Or, kiss of death.

Of course, Pelosi is one step ahead of McConnell in this game.

She plans to impeach Pence along with Trump, making herself the next President of the United States!

Now, if both Trump and Pence were impeached, what would McConnell do in the Senate: convict or let them both go.

Maybe this is Trump's plan: get Pence involved in this too to protect himself from conviction in the Senate and the installation of the first woman President, President Nancy Pelosi.

"She plans to impeach Pence along with Trump, making herself the next President of the United States!"

That would make this look far more like a coup. I think Pelosi probably has better political instincts than that.

Our thoughts and prayers go out to Nancy.

Pelosi and Schiff have a conversation.

Pelosi: The last impeachment led to the leader of the house stepping down and the party of the President making gains in the house.
Schiff: (controls drool) but we have evidence and the backing of the media!
Pelosi: Ok. Here is how it will go. The Russian thing didn't work out that well, falling apart as more information came out. We must prevent that.
Schiff: I can keep it secret.
Pelosi: Yes you will. You will set up a committee that meets in secret, no Republicans allowed.
Schiff: Just like California.
Pelosi: You will place all testimony under lock and key, interview witnesses and not leak to the press.
Schiff: Sure.
Pelosi: You want to be thorough, take 6-9 months.
Shiff: Yup.
Pelosi: only leak tidbits to CNN and the Washington Post, trusted and well regarded news media.
Schiff: It can't fail.
I was beginning to suspect Pelosi had lost her touch, but that was a masterclass.

Disabuse yourself of any notion that this will come before the house for a vote. The senate has said that they wouldn't accept the proceedings as constituted as legitimate, as has the White House. So Schiff and his busy elves are kept busy and out of the way up till the election.

Great post.

If the House was to vote out impeachment that would give McConnell two options.

1) Have the Senate vote immediately to reject the impeachment due to improper procedure

2) Hold a full trial where Trump & allies would go scorched Earth in revealing all the duplicity waged against Trump and his administration.

I think Trump would prefer option 2 but I don't think McConnell wants the collateral damage as Trump reveals how it was McCain who participated in the crime.

Exactly. If they had the votes, they would have already impeached. The secret hearings are just meant as a vehicle to keep leaking largely fabricated information in hopes that something catches fire.

I suspect the impeachment push is simply a way to keep a lid on a rather raucous caucus. Some red meat to the extremes. There is a real possibility that Trump and Republicans win due to the extremism of a good swathe of the Democrats.

This guy gets it.

You will set up a committee that meets in secret, no Republicans allowed.

No Republicans allowed? You mean except for the 48 GOPer's who sit on the committees hearing the witnesses.

Who, by the way, would have long since leaked any testimony favorable to Trump.

It has been reported over and over that Republicans are present at these private meetings. They interview Republicans leaving the meetings. But you can be 100% sure that conservatives will continue to claim that they are secret.


Yup. It's only the American people whom the Democrats don't want seeing their case.

Republicans are on the committees ya dingus, keep the fake news to your geriatric Facebook feed

A reasonable piece.

"The chance that this spat will escalate rather than stabilize is the impeachment variable not being considered by most other analysts."

In my circles this is a not unconventional view.

Still, my take at the moment is that a destabilized Trump will be very bad, but not enough to convince my old party that he is a greater risk than Elizabeth Warren.

The Kurd/Syrian thing is telling. Lindsay Graham tweeted his strenuous objections, policy could not be reversed, only patched up, and by the end, Graham is the President's greatest cheerleader again.

Wagons continue to be circled.

I'm worried that's the best we're going to get, and it will be a very bumpy year to November 2020.

If there was a time to force retirement and pardon by Pence, this month was it.

The reason Graham backed off on the Kurd thing was likely someone reminding him that if he really wanted to take a stand on this he could present a declaration of war on Turkey before the Senate for vote.

As usual with these things it has fizzled out after a few days.

You are a Canadian misreporting American facts in evidence.

Go away.

Bother Trudeau or somebody.

I don’t see how his nationality is of any relevance. He is correct. Congress has the constitutional authority to declare war. Would get tricky with the whole Article 5 though since Turkey is a NATO member.

derek's errors are all over this page. I was more annoyed by misreporting, yet again, the Mueller Report.

(If you don't have time for that, read at least this brief statement. Though certainly anyone who is going to opine on the result should read the report itself.)

Now, on "declaring war" I think you have followed derek down his rabbit hole. It makes me wonder if you are even serious.

This was never a serious or preferred solution. The serious solution would have been for the American national security apparatus to draft, edit, and confirm an endgame to the Iraq and Afghan wars. And then do it.

And not this crazy cut and run, resulting in us bombing our own bases and abandoned munitions, because the President had a wild idea in a phone call.

Sure. Someone somewhere has the power and wisdom to put together some tidy pullout from the middle east without any negative repercussions. The last guy managed to re-establish slave markets in North Africa through his fecklessness, so the bar to success is pretty low. So far so good.

The point that it is not "someone," but an institutional process, with review by various domain experts.

I’m more interested in the legal process of Michael Flynn’s case and how that affects the Mueller report.

The serious solution would have been for the American national security apparatus to draft, edit, and confirm an endgame to the Iraq and Afghan wars. And then do it.

Of all the reasons to impeach Trump this is the most nonsensical one. Ukraine is more than enough. So take the damn vote already.

Impeaching Trump for not solving the Charlie Foxtrot of military and foreign policy in the Middle East is just ludicrous in comparison. You are advocating for impeachment for something not one recent presidential administration has come even close to accomplishing.

This still rates as much less bad than Libya, Afghanistan, Iraq, or even Timber Sycamore.

I never suggested the Kurdish issue should be an article of impeachment.

It should however be the #1 caution on the state of the Presidency.

I have absolutely no idea what that means. Speak plainly or not at all.

And as always for those of us who are part of neither party and yet are charged with carrying out the feckless notions of the American voter with our lives at stake, what is the alternative?

I’ve yet to hear one comprehensible sentence from any of the likely Democratic Party candidates about foreign policy.

All I have is Warren saying all troops should be pulled out more or less immediately. Which means you are promising to vote for someone who is espousing the exact same policy as your most hated political and personal obsession.

So this has nothing to do with the YPG. Arguments are soldiers. The truth value is irrelevant. The practicality is irrelevant. You’ll throw away thousands of us for a letter next to a name.

You need better hobbies. Ones that don’t try to murder us.

He has a pretty good hobby. Trolling you. You're the one that needs better hobbies.

Of course, Trump is a psychopath. How does one deal with a psychopath. A psychopath who is the most powerful person in the world. A psychopath who has a very loyal following of roughly 45% of Americans. I read this weekend that If Americans are given a choice between a socialist and a psychopath, Americans would choose the psychopath. America is at a critical moment. Not about Trump, but about America. I don't care for Mitch McConnell, but I will give him credit that he knows this moment is about America. Would I prefer that McConnell have balls. That our host have balls? I don't know. Should we let the psychopath seal his own fate? How much evidence does the 45% need? With Bill Barr willing to weaponize the justice department to support Trump?

"I read this weekend that If Americans are given a choice between a socialist and a psychopath, Americans would choose the psychopath."

It is a fairly common road to ruin that countries feel they are facing a choice between socialism and fascism.

In this scenario worse authoritarian blunders are excused because .. well, in the event of a Sanders nomination, he actually is a socialist.

I believe Warren's claim that she is a capitalist but I don't expect many, here for instance, to accept that claim.

Don't listen to your lying ears.

Do you also believe that she's a direct descendant of Pocahontas, that she was fired for being pregnant, that she is only joking about seizing health care?

Just a dumb guy who caught a wave. The slack-jawed fools are part of America, and they seem to like something about Trump. Maybe it was his unique approach to going bald, maybe it was his pretending to send guys to Hawaii to research Obama's certificate. Who is to say what motivates stupid people? But it probably doesn't take a psychopath. Any large stupid man might do, if he catches a few breaks.

And Hillary. And how the Left demonized Romney.

Come on, if there is one fair call on "both sides" it is that both sides play politics. Part of that is wild rhetoric by fringe voices. The fringe left said Romney was a racist, the fringe right said Obama was a Muslim Socialist and not even a US citizen.

The difference is that the right elected their fringe.

The right put up McCain, a war hero, and Romney, the most purple candidate you could ask for, and lost to Obama... whom I believe you you believe was centrist...

You’re delusional if you believe the “fringe” is an issue on the Right. As someone mentioned somewhere in this thread, Trump is a symptom... of the country, not the Right.

The Dems have never come close to nominating such a populist demagogue.


Bernie is a socialist, but for years he has managed to go to work and be a regular Senator as well.

Left out of this equation is the 40% of the electorate who stand firmly behind Trump. Do you believe these people will passively sit back and let these D.C. machinations play out without some kind of blowback?

Reps. Swallwell and Schitt will nuke them.

I don't remember too many people out in the streets when Clinton was impeached but the Trump crowd does have a tendency for violence. If they get out of hand, throw them in jail.

Does the answer change if the Biden/Obama administration acted corruptly in Ukraine?

Does the political calculus of impeachment change if it is shown the Russia Collusion story was a hoax initiated by the CIA and amplified by Comey, Rosenstein and Obama/Clinton insiders?

The answer doesn't change for crazy people.

To quote Bill Kristol:

If John Kelly spoke privately with the ten Republican senators he knows best, and Jim Mattis spoke with the ten senators he’s closest to, and if each told the senators how much he fears for the country with Trump, untrammeled and unhinged, at the helm...Trump would be gone.

'human scum'? What the US needs is to tear down the civilian control of the military. I think we are getting a glimpse at the reason why the Iraq invasion turned out so badly.

What would be amusing about his if it was successful is that Democrats would be cheering and would plead the neo cons to come back to the fold.

McConnell and Never Trump Republicans (most of whom are just pundits): Two constituencies that Trump and swing voters could care less about.

There is a strong Centrist theory/hope that if they manage to take Trump out all his deplorables will be, ah shucks, I'll vote for the Hillary/McCain clone.

The idea that Trump can be easily "flushed" and then American politics will suddenly undergo a quick "reset" is a nice fairy tale to entertain yourself with.

There is a misunderstanding that many believe that Trump is the cause rather than effect.

Depending on the polling, I might support Romney over Warren. Still, anybody but Trump is the necessary condition.

So you are enraged by not supporting the YPG communist terrorist group who killed 40,000 civilian families and children but are totally fine with a complete withdrawal from Afghanistan and Iraq and the invasion of Libya and Iraq and Afghanistan and Somalia and establishing traditional slave markets.

Very weirdly supportive of slavery. Remember the YPG takes slaves and murders opponents.

Elizabeth Warren 2020: Slavery in Service !

If you are trying to appeal to a sober audience, I'd suggest you hold it together a bit more.

If you are trying to appeal to some other audience, whatever.

A sock puppet.

You seem intimately familiar with the concept. I expect you to do me the same courtesy of not replying to the obvious ones.

I don't think McConnell is that clueless. But Romney and anti-Trumpers are. They are the "patriotic" deep-state that exists to protect government and corporate interests from meddlesome citizen voters.

The worrisome thing is they are so blind to the fury of the deplorables they might just reason that Trump should be blocked from reelection.

His policies are not popular? Please explain what you don't like. How's that Kool Aid? How did Obama deal with ISIS again?

National (and Democrat-heavy) polls are meaningless in this context. Republican senators know that Trump is far more popular among their constituents than they are, and that he got there precisely by being outrageous. All but three of them have condemned the secret House hearings, and even Romney would suffer if he voted to convict based on Schiff's corrupt scheming. Pretending that Never-Trump still secretly rules the Republican party is ridiculous in 2019.

Frankly, "can they restrain Trump" would have been a foolish premise at any time, but to have it run the day after Trump decapitates ISIS just renders the column a smoking ruin as well.

Nixon managed a Nixon Shock before resigning.
Obama was willing to suffer a one term presidency for Obamacare.
So, why not Trump do the Trump Shock
Institute a default on about a third of our government debt, just declare a bunch of military and social programs as bankrupt and accept the losses. The alternative is a hundred years of deflation.

There is one problem no one can solve. Wyoming and Vermont are going extinct fairly soon. Their Senators soon representing small towns of a 100,000 people. What do we do about that?

There are no towns in WY or VT with 100,000 people. Not even close. Cheyenne has about 60,000 residents, while Burlington has about 40,000 residents.

....that not too far from now WY and VT will both have the population of small 100,000 person towns. And get 2 senators each.

Leverage the senators to move more govt departments from DC to small states.

Elizabeth Warren should not be allowed to vote on impeachment for obvious reasons. Neither should the other Democrat senators who involved themselves and sent the letter to Ukraine.

That puts the Senate 4-5 votes down.

Nor should Mitt Romney because, evidently, he has Presidential aspirations, as does his potential running mate, Senator Collins.

And, because it is Tuesday sometime this year, Mike Pence will be given 3 votes.

Actually, the whole Ukranian episode was hatched by Melania with the assistance of Mike Pence.

You see, Melania would like Donald impeached because she would like to spend more time with him. Pence was drawn into this conspiracy because his male Secret Service handlers inadvertently left him alone in a room with Melania who was able to use her feminine powers to overcome his resistance to the plan. Pence, who is actually the man behind the thrown, had Trump ask Rudi to propose and execute and offer the "quid quo pro", thinking that Latin term meant "close the deal."

All is not lost however. Trump has proposed to name Mar A Lago a federal corrections facility so that he can later retire and play golf at it, come what may.

If McConnell wanted to (and dared) play "Restrain Trump" he could have done so on the Emergency/"Wall," trade wars, Iraq, Israel, the Khashoggi murder, Yemen, deportations, etc. Only repeal of ACA and the "Tax Cuts for the Rich and Deficits Act of 2017" were core Party objectives.

There might be some Republican senators who are willing to move on impeachment for survival reasons, but not nearly enough to form a bloc that would be able to "rein Trump in." The population of swing voters is quite small in virtually every state and will almost always be overwhelmed by partisan get-out-the-vote efforts. That is to say that the key to winning elections is still energizing your base, not appealing to the reasonable. As study after study has shown: The overwhelming majority of voters vote on emotion, not policy, not even when that policy has obvious and demonstrable negative effects on one's life.

Your master, Michael, will continue your employment. Your access to swanky parties will also continue.

You sound like a jealous incel.

>raise his [Trump’s] stress level to the point where he behaves less rationally than usual.

This is a great hangover cure.

you're good at your job.

i doubt anyone has been persuaded, but what a performance!

Um, wanna square this circle for us, buddy?

"Reining in Trump does not have to mean forcing the leopard to change its spots"

. . . in contrast to . . .

"Be more careful in your dealings"

Seriously, Tyler? Have you even been paying attention for the last 5 years?

What would constitute "less rationally than usual" for Trump? I cannot imagine.

Let's all bookmark this page so we can read it again when Trump steps down in January 2025. And laugh and laugh and laugh and laugh.

Granted it's not quite as good as Hillary's birthday tweet to herself. But then what is?

TC has a sharply negative view of Trump. Is it just that Trump deliberately upsets the pundit class, which TC is a part of? For example, Trump insults mainstream media. Or does TC have more specific policy objections?

The economy is doing really well, his policy choices generally seem excellent.

The big ideas on the left, like abolishing private medical coverage, and adopting Medicare for All with a $34 trillion price tag, seem extreme and rather terrible.

One former regular here pointed out a few years back that what motivates the editors is not libertarianism but cosmopolitanism. Trump and his supporters have no time for that.

Yes, that seems correct. The editors belief in libertarian ideas is genuine, but their deeper loyalties and passions are to identity and cosmopolitanism. The libertarian views are quickly cast aside as a distant secondary concern when necessary. I believe the Trump/nationalist side is similar. Many nationalists genuinely support fiscal responsibility, and markets, and all that, but when push comes to shove, that stuff gets pushed aside.

The cosmopolitan libertarians don't blink at the thought of a complete government take over of health care if it helps defeat the nationalists.

Trump has broken the law six ways from Sunday. Not just "what the meaning of 'is' is" neither.

Some people actually want a law abiding chief executive.

And not this:

A lawyer for President Donald Trump argued in court that Trump could shoot another person on Fifth Avenue in New York City and not be subject to arrest and prosecution until he left office.


I'm not convinced that Trump breaks the law more so than any other recent President. And I don't see any evidence that makes that case objectively. Driving slightly above the legal speed limit, is breaking the law, but that's normal standard driving behavior.

lol, name a president in the last century who has ended up with so many cronies in jail. On charges to which the president was an unindicted coconspirator?

Paul Manafort was one of the worst, that was actually convicted and sentenced to prison. Trump's campaign wasn't unique for having Manafort on staff, Manafort served on every every Republican campaign for several decades. Trump's campaign was unique in facing more aggressive legal pressure. When Manafort served on Gerald Ford's campaign or Reagan's campaign, it wasn't that he was a saint, it was that the legal pressure wasn't as intense, and he was able to evade legal problems.

Whose *second* personal lawyer must hire his own defense attorney!

"Trump has broken the law six ways from Sunday."

Except any actual law we can find*.

*Hurt your feelings doesn't count.

I can find lots. His campaign violations with Cohen are documented, as was the (only) reason he was not pursued. As president he could not be indicted. Leaving impeachment as the only remedy.

As my number 2, I pick obstruction, adequately documented by Mueller, no indictment for the same reason.

As number 3, the Ukraine quid pro quo, documented by the president's own call transcript, and lots of witnesses. That last looks to go directly to impeachment.

4-6? I'm sure I could fill them in if I needed to.

>As my number 2, I pick obstruction, adequately documented by Mueller, no indictment for the same reason.

Can you obstruct where there is no underlying crime?

>As number 3, the Ukraine quid pro quo, documented by the president's own call transcript, and lots of witnesses. That last looks to go directly to impeachment.

This evaporated the minute the transcript was released, or are you going off of Schiff's imagination?

Tyler assumes that Trump should follow the strategy he (Tyler) would be most comfortable with--placate the potential adversary or trouble-maker.

Trump has always played a different strategy, appealing to his base by sharpening and highlighting the differences between him (and by extension, his base) and those who are "out to get him" as a way to motivate and maybe marginally enlarge his base. And, frankly, it seems unlikely that his adversaries both in and outside the GOP will be placated by anything but his complete surrender, so maybe that strategy just does not have a chance of a satisfactory outcome (for Trump).

Neither strategy seems better than the other, a priori. It depends on the numbers, the environment, and execution.

Trump's strategy is very divisive and stressful for the country, but who started it all? Who falsely accused Trump of "collusion?" Who was planning impeachment before he was inaugurated? Who lies and lies an lies about every little thing he does?

Trump is no angel, but h didn't start the fire. And if his way of fighting back is, shall we say, problematic, well, again, he didn't start it and I cannot reasonably expect him to fight back in a way that he doesn't believe in.

So, here we are...

He 'started the fire' by coming into the race like a wrecking ball, smashing norms and comportment and dignity at all times, trashing war heroes and good Americans with every fart out of his mouth.

His people like that about him, good for them. But if you play the game that way, expect a little pushback.

"...proceeding toward an orderly resolution of the impeachment judgment from the House."

Well, there is where you are confused. An impeachment is not a judgement, it is an accusation, allegations, purportedly supported by proof. But then the who media/partisan purpose of the impeachment of Trump is to pretend the House is making some judgement.

From Bouvier's Law Dictionary, Revised 6th Ed (1856):

IMPEACHMENT, const. law, punishments. Under the constitution and laws of the United States, an impeachment may be described to be a written accusation, by the house of representatives of the United States, to the senate of the United States, against an officer.

"My guess is that he will not play a cooperative “tit for tat” strategy,"

A bit of irony in that sentence since Trump is being accused of "quid pro quo" or "this for that", yet is being counseled to play "tit for tat"

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