Those moderates I’ve praised? They’re now talking impeachment

Rep. Abigail Spanberger, former CIA case officer.

Rep. Abigail Spanberger, former CIA case officer.

Remember when I wrote about Mikie Sherrill, the moderate Democrat who is emblematic of those whose elections tipped the House to the Democrats last year (in contrast to “The Squad,” whose elections meant nothing)? I described her as just the kind of person I’d jump at the chance to vote for, any time.

She’s an example of someone who steers clear of partisan combat, spending her energy on issues of concern to all her constituents, regardless of party. It’s for the sake of people like her that Nancy Pelosi has kept her foot on the brake with regard to impeaching Trump.

Well, she, and her friend Rep. Abigail Spanberger — whom I have mentioned in similar terms — and five other moderate freshmen have now had enough, as they explained in an oped today:

This flagrant disregard for the law cannot stand. To uphold and defend our Constitution, Congress must determine whether the president was indeed willing to use his power and withhold security assistance funds to persuade a foreign country to assist him in an upcoming election.

If these allegations are true, we believe these actions represent an impeachable offense. We do not arrive at this conclusion lightly, and we call on our colleagues in Congress to consider the use of all congressional authorities available to us, including the power of “inherent contempt” and impeachment hearings, to address these new allegations, find the truth and protect our national security.

As members of Congress, we have prioritized delivering for our constituents — remaining steadfast in our focus on health care, infrastructure, economic policy and our communities’ priorities. Yet everything we do harks back to our oaths to defend the country. These new allegations are a threat to all we have sworn to protect. We must preserve the checks and balances envisioned by the Founders and restore the trust of the American people in our government. And that is what we intend to do…

Why are they doing this? Because of what we’ve learned the last few days, about the possibility that the president of the United States used taxpayer money to pressure a foreign government to help him tar a domestic political opponent.

And because of who they are:

We have devoted our lives to the service and security of our country, and throughout our careers, we have sworn oaths to defend the Constitution of the United States many times over…

Because like the intelligence officer who blew the whistle, they are looking at something alarming to people who love their country.

Because duty demands it.

And that’s where things stand now…

Rep. Mikie Sherrill, former U.S. Navy helicopter pilot.

Rep. Mikie Sherrill, former U.S. Navy helicopter pilot.

103 thoughts on “Those moderates I’ve praised? They’re now talking impeachment

  1. Mr. Smith

    The country has been in a Constitutional crisis since noon of Jan. 20, 2017.
    Some are only just now coming around to realize it.

  2. bud

    Two weeks ago I was solidly on the fence with impeachment. The rule of law aspect of Trump’s behavior was at odds with the political risks to the Democrats come election day. The Clinton drama back in the 90s illustrated the risks of an overly zealous impeachment process. The GOP paid the price even IF they were on firm ground with regard to the law. Now I’m 110% in favor of impeaching Trump. It is becoming clear that NOT impeaching is the risky course politically. The Democrats would just look like a bunch of feckless chumps if they let this Ukrainian treachery go unchecked. Liberals like me would just be furious. It now appears that Biden is on board with impeachment. Not sure any of the Democratic candidates for POTUS are hedging at this point.

  3. Doug Ross

    But then if they impeach him over Ukraine, surely they will have to dig into the details of what Biden did or didn’t do, right? His son was making $50K a month (A MONTH) to do something (well, for being the son of the Vice President) for a company with business interests in the Ukraine.

    I’d welcome an impeachment process. Let’s see what happens. Trump might go down and pave the way for Pence or someone else to step in. Or Trump’s base might be further inspired… Or something more damaging might come out about Biden.

    It is interesting, though, that Biden apparently is okay with meddling in the affairs of other countries:

    From NPR:

    In March 2016, Biden made one of his many trips to Ukraine and told the country’s leaders that they had to get rid of the prosecutor if they wanted $1 billion in U.S. aid. Biden told the story last year at the Council on Foreign Relations: “I said, ‘You’re not getting the [$1 billion]. I’m leaving in six hours. If the prosecutor is not fired, you’re not getting the money.’ Well, son of a b****. He got fired,” Biden said.

    Yet, we have some people who get apoplectic about some random tweets and Facebook posts with “Russian” meddling…. Joe revels in it.

    1. Guy

      You understand the false equivalence, right? Trump allegedly withheld aid until a foreign gov’t agreed to dig up dirt on a political rival.

      Not sure what the rest of your blather about Biden’s “meddling” was about, but by your measure, all Trump adult kids should be in jail, right?

    2. Brad Warthen Post author

      Dig away.

      You understand, don’t you, that in seeking the firing of the prosecutor, Biden was carrying out the Obama administration’s carefully considered policy — not doing it on his own. Right? It was OUR position, not Joe’s position.

      And I hope you further understand that this was the stance of other Western governments.

      Oh, and let’s add that this prosecutor wasn’t investigating any corruption, which was the problem.

      So, you know — dig away…

      1. Brad Warthen Post author

        And you DO understand the difference between demanding that an official has to go, as an official policy, and asking a foreign government to help you dig dirt on your political opponent, and withholding U.S. taxpayer funds appropriated to that government until it delivers the goods.


    3. Barry

      You might have a point if US foreign aid didn’t have all sorts of preconditions. But of course it does. If it didn’t, that would be a real problem.

      You are comparing apples to boats.

      If Biden’s son was doing something illegal and Joe wanted to help him out, that would be expected. I’d do the same thing for my son.

      If joe wanted the prosecutor fired so his son would get out of trouble, that might be an issue. Of course even the Ukrainians have said that wasn’t the case.

      The G7, the IMF, Britain, France, and. MOST of the Eu wanted the prosecutor gone because he was corrupt in their consensus opinion. Plus, if you listen to Biden talking publicly about the issue, he was stating what Obama wanted (the guy fired)

      1. Brad Warthen Post author

        “You might have a point if US foreign aid didn’t have all sorts of preconditions.”

        There’s one class of people that doesn’t understand those things and never will: Trump supporters.

        They, and their idol, think in terms of what THEY would do and what THEIR motivations would be. And in their world, conducting foreign policy for purely personal reasons, for one’s own benefit, is the most natural thing in the world.

        So they assume that’s the way it is with everybody…

      2. Doug Ross

        “If Biden’s son was doing something illegal and Joe wanted to help him out, that would be expected. I’d do the same thing for my son.”

        Wow. What does “help him out” mean? Use the power and influence of your elected office to help your son avoid prosecution? Nice life lesson taught there. “It’s only illegal if you get caught.”

        1. Barry

          I don’t know about your personal moral fiber but most decent people I know would do everything they can to help out their children should they face such issues. I know I would. In fact, I can’t think of anyone in my circle of friends or coworkers that wouldn’t.

          That you assume (almost always a bad mistake) that necessarily means acting illegally or unethically says more about you than anyone else.

          With that said, it’s all a red herring because Biden was clearly not asking for a prosecutor to be fired to help out his son. In fact, Biden’s effort to pass on the official position of the United States regarding Ukrainian prosecutors actually raised the chances that his own son might face increased legal scrutiny as James Risen writes about in this in-depth article.

          “the British money-laundering investigation (into Burisma) was stymied by Ukrainian prosecutors’ refusal to cooperate. The Ukrainian prosecutors would not turn over documents needed in the British investigation”

      3. Harry Harris

        “If Biden’s son was doing something illegal and Joe wanted to help him out, that would be expected. I’d do the same thing for my son.”
        The very reason so many in our society become corrupt. I asked the parents of students I taught what they thought bailing out their kids when they messed up was teaching them. Shielding your kids from the consequences of their actions is not good for them and for society.

        The point about the Hunter Biden issue to most people except the Trump deflectors is that Biden didn’t urge the firing to help his son. It was US policy in concert with other western powers, and it likely did nothing for the Biden son. Hunter was reckless (and greedy) in my view getting involved in the situation to start with, but he’s been a little prodigal for a pretty long time.

        1. Barry


          Your assumptions are as wrong as a Doug post.

          Bailing kids out/shielding kids from consequences isn’t helpful.

          If a child has clearly done something wrong, assisting them doesn’t involve helping them avoid all consequences.

          1. Harry Harris

            Never said don’t assist them. Don’t bail them out. I’ve seen too much of it up close with disastrous results, but we probably agree there are no easy answers.

            1. Barry

              I never said anything about “bailing” them out or “shielding” them. You used that word, not me.

              I said “If Biden’s son was doing something illegal and Joe wanted to help him out, that would be expected. I’d do the same thing for my son“ which is accurate and true. Has nothing to do with bailing anyone out or helping them escape consequences. That’s not helping them.

              1. Doug Ross

                If your son committed a murder, would you help him escape? Would you hide him from law enforcement? I’m trying to understand what illegal activities you would “help” with and what that help would entail. Joe Biden has “helped” and bailed out his son his entire life. That help likely contributed to Hunter reaching the point where he thought he actually deserved to make $50K a month for doing “something” in the Ukraine. The New Yorker story is filled with events where a father SHOULD have done something that forced his son to be responsible.

        2. Barry

          “The point about the Hunter Biden issue to most people except the Trump deflectors is that Biden didn’t urge the firing to help his son”

          Correct. Th evidence and ample reporting indicates Biden knew he was urging Ukraine to get rid of a prosecutor that was doing NOTHING to investigate corruption.

          Biden was likely conflicted knowing that his job might mean a new prosecutor WOULD look into alleged corruption at Burisma.

          It’s the EXACT opposite of what people like the trump administration and now Lindsey Graham are suggesting (and they very likely know it).

  4. Realist

    The whistleblower didn’t actually hear the conversation, he or she was told about it by another party. It could be second hand or third hand depending on who actually told the whistleblower. If Schiff wants to bring the whistleblower to testify to the committee, then it should be the person who actually told the whistleblower. Second hand information is just that in a court of law, second hand and without the person who heard the conversation verifying the accuracy of what the whistleblower repeated then it not only could be but even with the accused being Trump, it should be inadmissible.

    Think about it. What if it happened to you and someone told authorities you had broken the law but only repeated what someone else told the one who reported you?

    “I said, ‘You’re not getting the [$1 billion]. I’m leaving in six hours. If the prosecutor is not fired, you’re not getting the money.’ Well, son of a b****. He got fired,” Biden said.” Based on Biden’s own words, if I were listening to him repeat how the prosecutor was fired, I would come to the conclusion Biden was responsible and could reasonably link the firing with the employment of his son.

    I am not defending Trump but pointing out the danger of jumping before knowing what is waiting below when you land. If this backfires and there is a good possibility it will, it will only strengthen Trump’s chances in 2020. Pelosi was right, impeachment will seriously divide this country even more.

    1. Doug Ross

      I agree with this assessment. Are we to just assume that the link between Biden’s actions, his son’s employment, and the Ukraine were purely coincidence? One of the Biden’s should have removed himself from this situation BEFORE it reached the point where Joe did what he did.

      Wouldn’t an impeachment trial REQUIRE Joe Biden (and perhaps Obama) to testify about Biden’s involvement in the Ukraine? Seems like it to me.

      1. Brad Warthen Post author

        Biden isn’t the subject of the impeachment inquiry. What he did or didn’t do is not germane to the question of whether Trump should or shouldn’t be impeached.

        But his actions, and those of his son, will get a full airing in all this, and then some….

    2. Mark Stewart

      What if the whistleblower is John Bolton? Even Trump said quite a few people were on the line for the call.

      My question is, is it only one whistleblower?

      1. Brad Warthen Post author

        Probably not, from what I read this morning…

        Dang. I was going to link to a story I saw earlier that mentioned more than one whistleblower, but now I can’t find it…

        1. Brad Warthen Post author

          I think it was in the NYT, but I’m not seeing it there now.

          Things are moving so fast that if you wait an hour, the stories will have moved from where you saw them…

  5. Brad Warthen Post author

    Oops. I committed two errors in posting this initially. I said five freshmen had signed the oped when it was seven.

    And I neglected to provide a link.

    I’ve fixed those things now…

  6. Realist

    Read the transcript of the phone conversation between Trump and the Ukrainian. Sounded reasonable until I got to the next to last paragraph, last sentence, page 4. “I have many Ukrainian friends, their incredible people.” This sentence made me stop and wonder just who did the transcribing of the conversation because correct spelling of a word is important when conveying any message.

    The use of the word “their” instead of “they’re” caught my eye and IMHO, this basic mistake is very telling about the person transcribing. “Their” is a possessive pronoun, not an adjective or in this case, a contraction. Professionals shouldn’t make mistakes like this one. Brought a big question mark to my mind.

    To others, this may seem trivial but think about it. How would someone who is supposed to be a professional transcriber make such a basic mistake and use the wrong word?

    1. bud

      Their/There/They’re are frequently misused on Facebook and blogs when folks like me get lazy. But for something THIS important to get that wrong is telling. Can we even trust that this hasn’t been altered? It looks bad enough as is but simply leaving out a key word or sentence could have cushioned the blow somewhat to give the Fox News crowd something to hang they’re hat on. 🙂

  7. Mark Stewart

    What was realeased is not a verbatum transcription of the call.

    Given the Trump White House’s easy willingness to “revisit” in-the-moment logs (see Australian PM et al), it would be incredulous to believe that the released transcription is an accurate depiction of ALL of the utterances that Trump made on the call.

    But I’m not sure it matters; the Ukrainian PM said he wanted more Javelin anti-tank missles to defend his country, and Trump smoothly shifted to his personal requests about Biden and Giuliani. This is Trump’s entire life history – it’s about ME.

    Oh yeah, and Trump had quite a few statements about how the Attorney General would be in on it, too. I think we have the possibility of a double impeachment proceeding in front of us.

  8. Doug Ross

    I can see someone like Lindsey Graham calling for Biden to testify. I don’t see how this proceeds without all the details of what Biden did or didn’t do coming out. What would happen IF Biden did do something that was illegal, unethical, etc.? Do we then impeach Trump for trying to investigate it?

    I expect Biden’s team wouldn’t want him anywhere near a witness table.

    1. bud

      This has NOTHING to do with Joe Biden. Why is that so hard to understand? This is about Trump attempting to extort a foreign leader for personal and political gain by suggesting withholding congressionally authorized weaponry. The subject of the attempted extortion is completely irrelevant.

      1. Doug Ross

        There is no way that Biden will be able to remain outside this… His son, Hunter, the coke addict who dated his brother’s widow, and has become a millionaire because of his father’s name, should be worried. It’s funny how children of politicians get a pass depending on which party their father belongs to.

          1. Barry

            H. Biden is almost 50 years old.

            Parents aren’t often able to help adult children that don’t want help or don’t think they need it. In fact, they often hurt more than help.

            1. Doug Ross

              Read the story. Hunter Biden’s life is the textbook “son of a powerful politician and brother to the golden boy heir”. His entire life is filled with concessions, exceptions, advantages based on his father’s political career. Some people demonize Trump for his father getting him started in real estate (and then taking it to the next level)… while people like Joe Biden get a pass for using his political standing to grease the skids over and over for HIS sons…

              There’s no evidence from the story that Joe has ever made a decision that put Hunter’s mental well being ahead of his own political ambition… especially in the past two decades. His son has been crying for help since he was a teenager.

              Just read it. It’s long but worthwhile to understand what happens when your father is well connected politically.

            2. Doug Ross

              Will Hunter Biden be helped or hurt by Joe Biden running for President? Next year will increase the scrutiny on Hunter… Joe knows that. His campaign staff knows it (and tries very hard to block Hunter from the campaign).

                1. Doug Ross

                  I read it yesterday. Hunter Biden used his father’s name to get a pass thru life. Nothing he ever accomplished was on his own. Entrance into schools, jobs, joining navy reserves, consulting gigs, getting off when they found crack in his rental car. At any point, Joe could have stopped him instead of enabling him. Jeez, Joe even put out a statement of support when Hunter started dating his brother’s widow. For political optics reasons only…

                  What did you get out of it that I missed?

                  1. Brad Warthen Post author

                    Hmmmm… this kind of reminds me of when you blame Hillary Clinton for her husband’s behavior.

                    Hunter Biden is Hunter Biden. He’s 49 years old. At what point is his father no longer responsible for what he does, in your book.

                    I’m sort of afraid to ask, but did you also think it was Jimmy Carter’s fault that his brother cashed in on his notoriety with Billy Beer?…

                2. Doug Ross

                  His father set him up… his father enabled his behavior again and again… his father used his influence to prevent Hunter from experiencing consequences for his actions. This didn’t start recently. Joe has been there all along greasing the skids. The statement about supporting Hunter living with his other son’s widow were politically motivated. What father would say “yeah, we’re happy our drug addict son is now dating our widowed daughter-in-law”?

                  Same thing with Hillary – she put her political ambition ahead of doing what was right. She attacked Monica Lewinsky rather than hold Bill responsible. The stories were out there for years prior to his election. Remember the “bimbo eruptions”?

                  Joe Biden has decided to allow his son to suffer the media scrutiny that will surely cause Hunter harm in the next year. You think Trump and others WON’T keep bringing this up? The greatest gift he could give his son would be to walk away from the election and pledge his ATTENTION and SUPPORT to his son. Don’t know about you, but my adult kids know they and my wife come first.

                    1. Brad Warthen Post author

                      And that’s the awful thing about public service. It’s all-consuming.

                      I love the character of Leo McGarry, and because I love him, it’s very hard to watch the early scene in which she says his job doesn’t come before his marriage, and he says actually, yes it does. While he is serving as chief of staff to the president he talked into running, yes, his job comes before his marriage.

                      And in that moment, his marriage falls apart.

                      I hate watching things like that happen, even in fiction. People say “The West Wing” saw politics with rose-colored glasses, but in that case, it did not…

                    2. Brad Warthen Post author

                      You know, people always scoff at politicians saying they’re quitting to spend more time with their families. I don’t.

                      Last year, I was fully involved, night and day, for a little more than four months with a political campaign. It was all-consuming, but I was conscious that it wasn’t demanding nearly as much of me as it did of James, and Mandy.

                      And I was neglecting my family during that time, not seeing them nearly as much as I wanted to.

                      I deeply respect what politicians give up when they run for office. You judge them for it.

                      And the root of this difference between us is that I respect the importance of public service more than you do.

                      I fully understand someone saying, “My family comes first, always.” I admire that, too.

                      But here’s the thing: Somebody has to serve in office, and I’d rather it be decent people who love their families than people who just don’t care. But yeah, their families pay a price, and you can’t sugar-coat that…

                    3. Brad Warthen Post author

                      I’ve gotten together with James once since the campaign. We had breakfast one morning, months ago. I told him for the first time that the first month I was on the campaign, I seriously worried that I wasn’t going to make it. (I wasn’t going to admit that to anyone at the time.) The stress was a physical burden, causing me to lose weight rapidly, and there was never time off, and I worried for weeks that I just wasn’t up to it…

                      And he just laughed. Not because he’s mean. I took it as, Yeah, finally you were seeing what it’s like

                3. Doug Ross

                  It’s possible to do both. Mandy appears to be a perfect example of that. Obama, too.

                  And let’s not pretend it;s about public service alone. Joe Biden likes the spotlight. It’s an ego thing as much as anything else. There are plenty of public servants who toil in anonymity…

                  At any point, Joe Biden could have advised his son to stop trading on Joe’s name, particularly after multiple drug offenses, bad marriages, poor financial decisions (for example, buying a million dollar house with no money down and financing 110% of the price).. . But he didn’t. He allowed (yes, allowed) Hunter to get that $50K a month job doing whatever he was doing in the Ukraine. An impeachment over Trump’s Ukraine phone call will not go well for Trump or Biden.

                  1. Brad Warthen Post author

                    “And let’s not pretend it;s about public service alone. Joe Biden likes the spotlight. It’s an ego thing as much as anything else.”

                    I disagree completely. Joe has nothing to prove. He sat out the last one — the one when he SHOULD have run, fresh from being veep — and it looked like that was it; Uncle Joe was retiring.

                    But the presidency is in the hands of a malignant fool, and Joe Biden is the guy with the best chance of beating him. So he’s running. And I admire him no end for sacrificing himself this way.

                    “It’s an ego thing as much as anything else.” Yeah, well, that’s like, your opinion, man. And it’s mine that you’re completely wrong.

                  2. Brad Warthen Post author

                    Speaking of Mandy — I worried about her a lot during the campaign. Campaign days tended to start in Columbia in the morning, and end up back in Columbia at the end of the day — but for her, it was much worse than for anyone else. She would drive to Columbia in the morning before everything started, and drive home to Lancaster late at night when other tired folks who had been on that day’s campaign swing were already snug at home.

                    I told her recently about how I had worried, and she thanked me for that, but in a way that suggested, … but I can take care of myself….

                4. Barry

                  He “allowed” Hunter to get that 50k a month job?

                  I can see myself “allowing” my adult son a particular job. LOL

                  Yeah, that would go over real well.

                  I feel certain Joe has advised his son on a lot of things as many dads do. The interesting thing about grown children is they don’t have to listen or take advice from anyone.

                5. Doug Ross

                  Yeah, but then most father’s aren’t the Vice President of the United States with responsibility to engage with foreign countries that might be involved with a consulting company where their son is being paid for solely having the same last name.

                  That’s the problem when you use your influence to give your son advantages and freedom from consequences his whole life. At some point, the kid actually believes he earned it.

                  If I told you my sons’ stories, my view would make sense.

                6. Barry

                  You assume without knowing anything. It’s hilarious that you are so focused on Hunter Biden.

                  It’s like my daughter trying to change the subject when I ask her about something at school.

                  “That’s the problem when you use your influence ”

                  Throwing out accusations without any evidence isn’t worth anything.

                  If Biden chose to use his influence to get his son a job in UKRAINE (after all, it escapes you that maybe they wanted to use a broken human being to try to gain influence on their own), the strength of his influence is obviously as weak as your arguments.

                7. Bob Amundson

                  Doug says, “There are plenty of public servants who toil in anonymity…”

                  That changes when you decide to run for office and become a politician rather than a public administrator; I learned that when I became President of the Rosewood Community Council. That was a great experience for me, learning a great deal and connecting with so many “players” (including Brad).

                  But the experience also prompted my wife to tell me that if I ever ran for a higher office, she’d divorce me. My loss of anonymity was her loss of anonymity, too. I appreciate her wisdom; the role of an informal community leader is much less stressful than one who is elected.

                8. Barry


                  Honestly, I don’t give you a first thought.

                  I do reply to what I consider to be the many funny ways you try to change the subject (example, Hunter Biden).

    2. Harry Harris

      Same old Trumpspeak – “I’m rubber and you’re glue …” If he shot someone in the middle of main street, not only would his supporters refuse to abandon him, a big circle of them would blame someone else (following his lead) and many would say it was OK ’cause the guy deserved it.

  9. Harry Harris

    It has seemed to me that President Trump has been teasing and pushing the Democrats toward impeachment for quite a while. He has long (in his career) pushed the envelope on any issue he wished until stopped, and then settled while claiming no blame.
    Although I still oppose impeachment, I think it is time to open a formal inquiry to get the transgressions laid out in an orderly (ha ha) fashion and settle on any with solid, actionable cases, dismiss the rest. If the inquiry brings about what Pelosi says is necessary (some bipartisan agreement to move forward), then move. Otherwise, it’s another divisive waste of time and energy. A big problem is President Trump’s penchant for crossing dangerous lines just to further his reckless self-aggrandisement.

  10. Harry Harris

    I agree with the inquiry beginning at this point. Impeachment is another step that would require a solid case. My own preference would be a sound beating at the polls next fall with a host of other Republicans being swept out. The gerrymander factor will still be a problem in the House, but if there’s no formal impeachment fight (useless trial in the Senate), there may well be a take-back of the Senate in 2020.

  11. Doug Ross

    Based on everything we know so far, is Trump’s Ukraine call a bigger deal than Watergate, Iran contra, and Monica Lewinsky?

    I say no. My main man, Lindsey Graham, agrees. He’s the strong, intelligent voice South Carolina voters hoped for…

      1. Barry

        “You don’t even have to be convicted of a crime to lose your job in this constitutional republic if this body 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 in 1999 making an excellent case on why Donald Trump (Yep) should be impeached.

        1. Mark Stewart

          It’s not hard to say I regret having voted for Graham the first time he ran for Senate. He has been on a steady downhill into amorality every since. I’m sure that was the situation long before I caught on, however.

          There is still empathy for the guy, though, he’s such a sad sack case clearly carrying around a big bag of psychological burden.

          What about Mick Mulvaney, however, what’s the excuse for his even more disgraceful behavior?

          1. Brad Warthen Post author

            Mick Mulvaney has never been a guy you could legitimately make excuses for. What you see is what you get, and it’s been that way ever since he rode the Tea Party wave to defeat the finest congressman we’ve had during my time covering South Carolina, John Spratt…

            1. Harry Harris

              Yaymen! John Spratt was a treasure in Congress, probably one of the few overqualified for the job, and a true gentleman. Reminds me much of Gov Dick Riley in demeanor and spirit.

  12. Harry Harris

    Mulvaney needs no excuse. It’s been his MOI all along. I think he’s a money-grubber who’s gotten way over his head by sucking up. A Trump yes-man.

    1. Mark Stewart

      I think it’s more likely than not that Mulvaney will find himself in legal hot water in months not years.

  13. bud

    Although I never liked Lindsey Graham’s reprehensible politics, mostly because of his overt hawkishness, I nevertheless gave him a bit of credit for having a modicum of integrity. He did after all vote for Obama’s first 2 SCOTUS appointees and took political heat from the right on that and other things. No more. This man is a sycophant of the first order.

  14. Mark Stewart

    I think today – this week – will be remembered as a milestone in American history. We have long known the Presidential bus was rickety and had worn out brakes. But the last 36 hours have shown that the wheels truly have come off the bus. Today we are at the begining of the end of the Trump Administration. It WILL forever have an asterick next to it in the history books.

    I don’t see the point on going on about Hunter Biden. This has nothing to do with him, this is about an unmoored and unhinged treasonous President. That said, it is obvious that, down the road, we will need to reexamine the foreign lobbying disclosure requirements and boundaries – and maybe Hunter and others might see the inside of the federal prison system. A lot of people apparently make a lot of money in DC off of this sort of implied access – and the worst thing about that is the ethical rot it induces. But this isn’t the problem du jour – that is Donal Trump and his hatchet-man minions. Let’s stay focused on the stunning display of unconstitutional behavior Trump has himself admitted to just this week alone.

    1. Brad Warthen Post author

      Yes, it is kind of ridiculous that we’re having such a long discussion of Biden fils, in light of what’s going on.

      I realize it’s part of Trump’s strategy to get people talking about the Bidens like that’s the REAL problem, but let me make two points and hope that after I make them, we can move on.

      1. This is about a unique event in U.S. history: a POTUS holding back aid appropriated by Congress to a foreign country, and then telling the leader of that country that he, POTUS, wants that leader to do him a favor… help him smear his main political opponent. This is such an outrageous occurrence that it boggles the mind.

      2. The offense I just mentioned would be impeachable whether there was anything to the accusations against the Bidens or not. That would be a completely separate issue, to be dealt with separately. But as long as Trump and others want to go on and on about it, I’ll share with you what the Washington Post’s Fact Checker found in investigating the Biden allegations. The paper found that Trump’s allegations were lies deserving four Pinocchios. They found this back in May, and found the same when they looked at them again this week. Then today, they looked into some things Trump was saying about Hunter Biden and China. That also earned four Pinocchios.

      I’m sure the Biden stuff will be probed over and over again while this story continues. But I doubt it will ever turn out to be substantive. And in any event, the issue before us as impeachment is considered is what the president did, not what others did.

  15. Mr. Smith

    “A well-constituted court for the trial of impeachments is an object not more to be desired than difficult to be obtained in a government wholly elective. The subjects of its jurisdiction are those offenses which proceed from the misconduct of public men, or, in other words, from the abuse or violation of some public trust. They are of a nature which may with peculiar propriety be denominated POLITICAL, as they relate chiefly to injuries done immediately to the society itself.”

    – Hamilton, Federalist No. 65

  16. David T

    If true, this could get interesting:

    By: Hyram F. Suddfluffel, PhD, (Political Science)

    I have a degree in Political Science, and I am a card-carrying Libertarian. I’ve been studying politics and political history for the past 30 years. My specialty is U.S. Presidents. That said, I hope that the House of
    Representatives impeaches Trump. Let me tell you what will happen next!

    1. The House can pass articles of impeachment over the objections of the Republicans, and refer to the Senate for trial.

    2. The Senate will conduct a trial. There will be a vote, and the Republicans will vote unanimously, along with a small number of Democrats, to not convict the President. Legally, it will all be over at that point.

    3. However, during the trial, and this is what no one is thinking about right now, the President’s attorneys will have the right to subpoena and question ANYONE THEY WANT.. That is different than the special counsel investigation, which was very one-sided. So, during the impeachment trial, we will be hearing testimony from James Comey, Peter Strzok, Lisa Page, Bruce Ohr, Glenn Simpson, Donna Brazile, Eric Holder, Loretta Lynch, Christopher Steele, Hillary Clinton, John Brennan, James Clapper, and a whole host of other participants in this whole sordid affair and the ensuing cover up activities. A lot of dirt will be dug up; a lot of truth will be unveiled. Finger pointing will occur. Deals will start being made, and suddenly, a lot of democrats will start being charged and going to prison. All this, because, remember, the President’s team will now, for the first time, have the RIGHT to question all of these people under oath – and they will turn on each other. That is already starting.

    4. Lastly, one more thing will happen, the Senate will not convict the President. Nothing will happen to Trump. Most Americans are clueless about political processes, the law, and the Constitution. Most Americans believe that being impeached results in removal from office. They don’t understand that phase 2 is a trial in and by the Senate, where he has zero chance of conviction. Remember, the Senate is controlled by Republicans; they will determine what testimony is allowed — and **everything** will be allowed, including: DNC collusion with the Clinton campaign to fix the election in favor of Hillary, the creation of the Trump dossier, the cover up and destruction of emails that very likely included incriminating information. They will incriminate each other for lying to the FISA court, for spying and wiretapping the Trump campaign, and for colluding with foreign political actors, especially George Soros. After the Senate declines to convict the President, we will have an election, and Trump will win. It will be a backlash against democrat petulance, temper tantrums, hypocrisy and dishonesty. Even minorities will vote for Trump, because, for the first time, they will see that democrats have spent 2+ years focused on maintaining their own power, and not doing anything at all about black murders in Chicago, homelessness, opioids, and other important issues that are actually killing people. And, we will spend the following four years listening to politicians and pundits claim that the whole impeachment was rigged.

    So let’s move on to impeachment.

    Hyram F. Suddfluffel, PhD

    1. Norm Ivey

      You might want to dig a little deeper into who Hyram F. Suddhuffel, PhD is. You’ve been taken in by anonymous post credited to a non-existent person.

      1. David T

        Other than his rambling on, I believe the processes he states are correct. If not, please entertain us with your political knowledge.

        1. Mark Stewart

          My take? It’s a post pushed by a Russian troll farm.

          It goes without saying that ANYTHING which mentions George Soros as a nefarious “foreign” actor is propaganda from foreign agents or hate groups.

          1. David T

            So other than the political ranting, the remaining points are valid. Would you agree with the process in his steps as being correct?

            Discussions with you would be a lot more pleasant if you didn’t take the approach to everything you say.

            1. David T

              The fact is, and you and your Democratic buddies all know it, that IF it does get through the House it’s dead in its tracks. Nothing will come of it and people will get tired of hearing about it with no results and eventually just tune it out. But it does give the Democrats some good face time on the national news during an election year.

              1. Mark Stewart

                I live above ground. I have never heard of the

                Are you saying that you do not care that President Trump has brazenly and repeatedly broken his oath to the US Constitution?

                BTW – I am a Republican. If it comes to an impeachment trial in the US Senate, I would hope and prey that the individuals in that chamber would vote to adhere to the US Constitution, and not vote in such a solemn occassion as if partisan hacks – from either party.

                  1. Brad Warthen Post author

                    Quite a few Republicans voted for Clinton in order to stop Trump.

                    Of course, some of those aren’t Republicans any more, because they saw the way their party started bowing down to Trump after the election.

                    I”m very conscious of these people because I read what they have to say alot. They speak to the way I view Trump and what he’s doing to the country. While I was never a Republican any more than I was a Democrat, they seem to come closer than Democrats to seeing things the way I do.

        2. Barry

          You took a post by Hyram F. Suddfluffe seriously?

          And you talk about sources? LOL

          The first hint it was not worth reading was the “I have a degree in political science.” LOL. Who writes like that and expects to be taken seriously by anyone with a college degree?

          My cousin, Dr. J. Fred Katsmeow, has a degree from the Hair Club for Men. You’d really dislike his opinion on Trump…..

  17. Brad Warthen Post author

    Speaking of Democrats from purple districts, I heard another on the radio this morning. It was on The Takeaway. I’d link to it but they don’t seem to have today’s show up yet.

    He was making all kinds of sense talking about this week’s events, in moderate tones, talking about how history will judge the way all members of Congress, Democratic and Republican, conduct themselves these days.

    This is a guy who hasn’t given up on his Republican colleagues, but plans to reach out to them in good faith. I thought, what courage this guy has. And what simple, untainted faith in facts. He still believes he can reason with people, and the way he speaks inspires confidence that maybe he CAN.

    When he was asked whether the impeachment process endangers his re-election, he sort of indicated that if that’s the case, that’s the way it has to be. But he also seemed confident that he could explain his actions to his constituents. And if they have ears to listen and brains to think, I think he can.

    This happens from time to time with NPR. I hear people making SO much more sense than I normally hear from people out of Washington that I have to look them up to find out more about them.

    This was Colin Allred, who was just elected last year over longtime incumbent Republican Pete Sessions — who was kind of a big dog to be beaten by a Democrat, in Texas of all places.

    He wasn’t one of the seven who penned the oped that this post is about, but he sounded like one of them.

    I see he’s a former professional football player, but I don’t hold that against him. I like this guy, based on what I heard…

    1. Mark Stewart

      Colin Allred sounded like he could have a bright future in national politics – I also heard him on NPR.

      He was an attorney at Perkins Coie though, so that will bring out the rabid rightwing conspiricy huggers for sure to oppose him as a “socialist.” Or whatever…

        1. Barry

          NPR is excellent. Both sides are presented fairly, and the hosts don’t offer their own talking points put out by the White House, the GOP or Democratic Party.

          My favorite shows are OnPoint hosted by Meghna Chakrabarti and David Folkenflik (they rotate). Although I miss Tom Ashbrook who was by far the best host on WBUR.

          and 1A hosted by Joshua Johnson. He’s quite good. I’m now use to him after Diane Rehm’s retirement.

          So is The POTUS channel on Sirius radio. By far better than anything on cable news or the usual right wing or left wing radio show where you can predict what they will say a week in advance.

          1. Brad Warthen Post author

            My biggest beef this week is they keep providing a forum to Republicans and their “nothing to see here” B.S.

            Yesterday, it seems like that’s all I heard each time I tuned in…

            But you know, that’s one of their virtues.

            Not that Trumpistas give them any credit for doing it…

    2. Brad Warthen Post author

      I’m kind of ashamed to admit the extent to which I’m surprised when football players turn out to be really smart. This should not be. One of my best friends from early in my long newspaper career was a guy who had played center for Ole Miss, and very much looked the part — but he was smart, and a good guy all around. Why do I still get surprised when others are smart, too?

      But it happens. I had much the same experience when I met Anton Gunn. I just don’t expect someone who looks like a lineman to sound so wise.

      Actually, Allred sounds a LOT like Anton. I really miss having him in the Legislature…

      1. David T

        Bob Caslen also played college football as a Center… all 5’8″ 155 pounds of him.

        I know Anton Gunn, calling him smart is like calling Jesse Jackson or Al Sharpton smart. He’s smart enough to get people to believe in his never ending self promotion.

        1. Barry

          You are describing Trump perfectly, not Anton Gunn. I don’t recall Anton trying to use government connections to take an elderly woman’s home for a parking lot like Trump did.

          Anton was my representative. Anton is a great human being, and a super nice man.

          I didn’t always agree with him. It I always respected him, his respectful approach, and his opinion.

        2. Brad Warthen Post author

          He blew us away when he came in for an endorsement interview when he first ran. I’d probably put him in the top ten smartest candidates I’ve interviewed for an endorsement. Maybe top five…

          1. Barry

            I always remember Anton talking about his brother who was killed while serving on the U.S.S. Cole in the terrorist attack.

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