Support for impeachment said to grow!

THURSDAY, OCTOBER 3, 2019

But apparently not Over There:
Friend, do you support impeachment, even removal from office?

If so, you've been heartened by many reports which have said that support for impeachment has been growing. One such report appeared in yesterday's New York Times, In print editions, the report appeared beneath this headline:
Support for Impeachment Is Growing, Polls Indicate
It doesn't get more straightforward than that. That said, the basic numbers remained a bit underwhelming:
RUSSONELLO (10/2/19): A majority of registered voters now approve of the House’s inquiry into impeaching the president, a poll released on Monday by Quinnipiac University showed. A Monmouth University poll of all Americans released on Tuesday, meanwhile, found that 49 percent support the inquiry—just shy of a majority, but still an eight-point jump from August.

[...]

Voters are now evenly divided on whether Mr. Trump should be removed, with 47 percent saying he should be and the same number saying he should not, according to the latest Quinnipiac survey.
Those numbers remain underwhelming. That said, the most striking part of this news report was the part shown below:
RUSSONELLO: Even as Democrats and independents become more supportive of impeachment, there are signs that Ms. Pelosi may have a hard time building nationwide consensus.

The share of Republican voters expressing strong approval for Mr. Trump’s job performance rose by 12 points since last week
, from two-thirds to nearly four in five, according to the Quinnipiac polls. And the share of Republican voters saying Mr. Trump is generally an “honest” person has spiked since March, when Quinnipiac last asked the question: from 66 percent then to 83 percent today.

This suggests that the Republican base’s support for the president might be hardening as he comes under increasingly serious fire—even with evidence mounting that Mr. Trump pressured Ukraine’s president, Volodymyr Zelensky, to investigate the son of a political rival, former Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr.
If accurate, those numbers affect the likelihood of removal from office, not of impeachment itself. But they reflect the remarkable state of partisan bifurcation within our body politic.

We live in two different worlds! People within our opposing political tribes hear vastly different arrays of "facts" and factual claims, to the extent that people hear any facts and factual claims at all.

People who watch Fox at night are hearing vastly different facts and factual claims, as compared to those who watch CNN or MSNBC. For ourselves, we're more impressed by this ongoing social and cultural breakdown than by the current issue, which is stronger than the Mueller report but smaller than a breadbox.

For ourselves, we assume that everything Donald Trump does is basically crazy or venal. We'll assume that most liberals think something pretty much like that.

This raises a basic question about us in the liberal world. Why do we seem to have so much trouble getting people to agree with us on this?

As liberals, we tend to offer a simple, self-serving answer to that question, an answer which denigrates The Others. But how sound is this default position? Not gigantically sound, we'd allege.

As our team pursues impeachment, support for Trump among their team may be rising. If so, this makes removal very unlikely, and it raises that same old question:

Trump seemed visibly crazy yesterday, in two different public sessions. Are you sure we aren't doing something wrong when we can't get Others to see this? Is it possible that, along the way, we've done something wrong?

As usual, Frost was on it: Robert Frost, forced to recite from memory at President Kennedy's inaugural:
Something we were withholding made us weak
Until we found out that it was ourselves
We were withholding from our land of living,
And forthwith found salvation in surrender.
Have we somehow been withholding ourselves from our land of living? More on this topic in our award-winning Country Music wrap-up tomorrow.

31 comments:

  1. Yes, dear Bob, indeed your methods are unsound. Because you are a bit of a zombie, and therefore sort of mentally ill.

    Take this one, for example: "to investigate the son of a political rival".

    Before getting into the essence of things, can we at least agree that Creepy Joe is not Mr. Trump's political rival?

    Creepy Joe is a rival of The Fake Indian, of Demigod Bernie, and a couple of dozen other clowns. But not a rival of Mr. Trump.

    And even if he were, I don't think it would've made him immune from a criminal investigation. Just recently, you zombies just loved investigations, and now to investigate is to commit a high crime? C'mon, dear Bob.

    I'm sorry to say that your zombie cult has emitted so much hot air in the past few days, that the sad girl Greta is going to sob uncontrollably for months now...

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. "The Fake Indian"

      Because she wants to hold Mao's bosses in the Establishment accountable for their crimes? That's one of the stupidest jokes I ever heard, and also one of the most clever jokes II've ever heard from a Conservative.

      Delete
    2. You should see the hilarious tweet Trump put out of a photograph of Joe and Hunter Biden next to a Ukraine gas exec. Bwahahahahahaahahaa!

      Except in the photograph that is not a Ukraine, it is actually Devon Archer, an American and longtime friend and business partner of Hunter Biden.

      Oops

      Delete
    3. Lol, Mao is such a smelly little nazi. Notice for the millionth time how he is the first to comment, as always. How pathetic is that? Not as pathetic as considering the idea that it's Somerby himself.

      Shitty and dumb as usual Mao, keep up the great work so all 15 of us read you on this obscure, out-of-it blog.

      Delete
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      Delete
  2. OK Bob so we hardly say anything right. At least if the measure is whether we convince trump supporters of anything. That's all fine and good and the stuff of many of your alerts. But tell us what to do other than remember that Al Gore got a raw deal.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. If one were Somerby, what one would do is
      1) Attack Liberals
      2) Defend Roy Moore
      3) Defend Trump

      Delete
  3. “Is it possible that, along the way, we've done something wrong?”

    It’s no mystery that Somerby thinks it is because “we” (liberals) are dumb, lazy, immoral elitists engaged in performative virtue signaling and devoted to identity politics.

    Of course, that would provide a reason for conservatives *not* to vote for a liberal. (Somerby conveniently ignores the matter of policy disagreements, but I digress). However, it does not explain why conservatives think that Trump is an honest, stable genius. However terrible liberals might be, that does not justify or explain conservatives’ complete lack of critical thinking ability. Liberals could completely reform themselves to match Somerby’s vision, but that won’t change the fact that conservatives, as human beings with agency, who deserve the sympathy and support of liberals (according to Somerby), have to exhibit rational behavior in order to be reachable in the first place. Their self-delusion is *not* because of liberals.

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  4. 'Is it possible that, along the way, we've done something wrong?'

    In your case, the wrong you've done is to become a Trumptard.

    ReplyDelete
  5. It never ceases to amaze how Republican leaders are simply written out of the question. Why does the Times writer not admonish Republican leadership to convince their voters that Trump is a corrupt, venal monster who needs to be removed? No, it’s all on Nancy Pelosi to either build a coalition, including Republicans, or get written off as a failure. As usual, only Democrats are expected to clean up all the Republican shit.

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  6. Somerby's analysis is weak. Polls show that only 40% of Republicans are aware that Trump mentioned Biden during the Ukraine phone call, the majority of Republicans think Trump did not even bring Biden up. You can not engage with Republicans, they do not discuss anything in good faith.

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  7. Even Fox News appears to support impeachment, they just reported more quid pro quo evidence, US Ambassador to Ukraine texted this way back on 9/9 which predates the whistle blower:

    "As I said on the phone, I think it is crazy to withhold security assistance for help with a political campaign."

    cue the Perry Mason theme music

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  8. One person's opinion:

    It’s Not A Crime For Trump To Ask China And Ukraine To Investigate Biden

    [Democrats] seem to be suggesting that Trump was asking the Ukrainian government to dig up dirt on his political rival Joe Biden, rather than asking them to root out corruption that allegedly involved his son Hunter Biden, and potentially the former vice president himself.

    But is that a high crime or misdemeanor? We know that Hunter Biden took an extremely lucrative job from a Ukrainian energy concern for which he had no relevant experience. Is it really so strange for Americans to want to know if what he was really offering was access to the vice president?

    Likewise we know that Hunter Biden traveled to China with his father on Air Force Two in 2013, and that during that trip he met with a Chinese banker, and 10 days after the trip the Chinese granted a license for a new fund on which Hunter was a board member.

    Perhaps these are just coincidences. Perhaps Hunter Biden possesses some vast expertise in business that he honed while snorting cocaine during his time in the Navy. But it does not seem completely unreasonable to imagine his proximity to the White House might have played a role in his hiring.

    That brings us back to President Trump. Trump clearly feels that something untoward and perhaps illegal occurred regarding Hunter Biden in Ukraine and China. In regard to the former, he received information from attorney Rudy Giuliani raising questions about the firing of a prosecutor investigating the company where the younger Biden worked. So the question is, is it illegal for Trump to ask foreign leaders to look into it?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. link for above is https://thefederalist.com/2019/10/03/its-not-a-crime-for-trump-to-ask-china-and-ukraine-to-investigate-biden/

      Delete
    2. *** Public Service Announcement ***

      It’s time once again to remind readers that David in Cal is a moral and intellectual idiot, in fact, this commentariat’s Village Idiot. He can do no more than read right-wing propaganda and regurgitate it here.

      I plead for your understanding and ask that you not reply to David with vituperation. (I’m looking at you mm.) Reasonable people do not ascribe agency to idiots.

      Case in point: the vomitus from the right-wing grotesquerie that is the Federalist(.com). This is the organization pushing the lie that the whistleblower requirements were changed to allow the current accusations to be leveled without first-hand knowledge. When their lie was exposed — first-hand knowledge has never been a requirement — they doubled down.

      Let’s look at one claim that’s echoed repeatedly in the right-wing echo chamber:

      We know that Hunter Biden took an extremely lucrative job from a Ukrainian energy concern for which he had no relevant experience.

      I’ve got no idea how competent Hunter Biden is, but he was an executive vice president of MBNA (a bank holding company), he served on the board of Amtrak, he worked for the Department of Commerce, he’s an attorney, and he founded a venture capital firm. Did the Ukrainian gas company Burisma put him on its board because his last name is Biden? It seem likely that played a part, but Hunter Biden’s experience is at least as relevant that of another fellow board member, an ex-President of Poland.

      If you listened to the clowns that David treats as oracles, you’d think it was some kind of scandal to put Biden on the board of an oil and gas company when he never worked as a roustabout in an oil field.

      If Hunter Biden has committed some offense under any section of the United States Code, then the proper channel is for the Department of Justice to open a criminal case against him. We have a treaty with Ukraine that empowers the Attorney General to seek assistance from the government of Ukraine in obtaining evidence for an indictment and prosecution. Ditto for Joe Biden.

      If Hunter Biden has offended any of David in Cal’s fellow swimmers in the cesspool that is the right-wing in this country, then they are free to try their hand at journalism to expose the terrible fact that Hunter’s last name “might have played a role” in his getting a job.

      What’s not permissible is for the President of the United States to invite foreign governments to smear a political opponent and his son, both private citizens, and use as leverage taxpayer money appropriated for foreign policy matters. What’s not permissible is for agents of the President to lie about the whole business and attempt to conceal documents from scrutiny.

      Of course David doesn’t know or understand any of this, from the ethical problems (remember that he’s moral idiot) to the factual matters (ditto for intellectual idiot).

      Delete
    3. Well said again, Deadrat. David in Cal is a dismal failure, spreading lies from right wing organs (Who funds The Federalist?) and think that echo-chamber's denial of reality is valid.

      He's a small-minded bimbo who thinks democracy in the United States can be trashed and sent to the dustbin of history, he thinks that inviting or extorting foreign governments to interfere in US elections and tamper and steal the 2020 election is just fine and dandy. He thinks the US becoming an authoritarian dictatorship where democracy is a shredded joke is just fine, he would like the US to become Russia. David in California hates the US and its people as it is, just like all right wing Republicans. They really, really hate our country and most of the people in it. They are happy to try and bring it down. These people are ghouls and traitors and David is particularly challenged when it comes to patriotism or ethics or morality. All the rightwing dingbats trying to harm the US, help Russia in crushing and extorting Ukraine, and defending the indefensible can rot in hell, and history will not be kind to them.

      Delete
    4. I agree with Belvoir and deadrat, but since we are on Somerby’s blog, you have to go back to his original question: did liberals do something wrong? He obviously thinks so. My take is that, whatever the faults of liberals, liberals can’t cause 63 million moral idiots to suddenly gain critical thinking abilities. Surely, they have a duty to reform themselves?

      Delete
    5. And so we've reached the inevitable and completely predictable end for the Dittoheads and morally bankrupt trumpbots.

      He didn't do it!
      He didn't do it!
      He didn't do it!
      He didn't do it!
      You can't prove he did it!
      You can't prove he did it!
      You can't prove he did it!
      You can't prove he did it!
      The whistleblower is a liar!
      The whistleblower is a liar!
      The whistleblower is a liar!
      The whistleblower is a liar!

      @#%*&^+_!@#$%^&*

      Of course he did it, just like I said all along!
      There's nothing wrong with what he did!
      Thank god he did it!



      Delete
    6. Belvoir,

      It’s easy to transfer to David in Cal the ire one feels upon reading the swill he reposts here. I will pass over the names you call David to point out your basic misunderstanding: you use the word thinks (four times, no less). I believe this is an error: David in Cal is an intellectual idiot; he cannot think for himself; he let’s others do his thinking for him. He is also a moral idiot, unable to form independent ethical judgments.

      I used to have earnest exchanges with him until he resolutely defended the Bush regime’s use of torture. (What I mean is that he parroted various right-wing defenses of the practice.) I finally realized what a fool’s errand I was undertaking with these conversations. Now, when the spirit moves me, I merely counter the claims of the right-sources that he spews here.

      Reasonable people do not ascribe autonomy of thought and agency of judgment to idiots. Think about what it takes to believe that democracy “can be trashed” and that authoritarianism is a fine “joke.” Start with the intellectual processes needed to understand the two forms of government and the ethical judgment it takes to prefer the former over the latter. Do you really think that David in Cal is capable of such understanding? Do you really think that any explanation you make can get him to understand?

      You’ll have more success explaining trigonometry to your dog.

      Delete
    7. deadrat your response to David is unusual in that it presents good and reasonable counter arguments, in sharp contrast to your typical snarky and pedantic responses. David is a moron, but a useful idiot in that he presents the Republican view of things and helps Dems hone their counter arguments.

      Delete
    8. Oh, brother... that is some carrying on, deadrat.

      This thing about the IC IG form is getting as parsed and tendentious as Mueller’s report.

      The IC IG has the authority to decide what WB reports are valid and their previous form suggests that the WB must have first-hand knowledge BEFORE they will look into it.

      That’s what I’m seeing here, anyway.

      https://www.scribd.com/document/427767481/Icwpa-Form-401-24may18

      Delete
    9. The IC IG has the authority to decide what WB reports are valid and their previous form suggests that the WB must have first-hand knowledge BEFORE they will look into it.

      That’s what I’m seeing here, anyway.


      Then get your eyes checked. The explanation on the original form says that the IG (not the WB) must have first-hand information before the IG deems the complaint credible (not before the IG investigates).

      The form itself asks the WB to check one of more of the following types of information on which the complaint is based:

      - I have personal and/or direct knowledge of events or records involved
      - Other employees have told me about events or records involved
      - Other sources

      The law requires a reasonable belief on the part of the WB, not the possession of first-hand knowledge.

      I’m sorry you don’t like my “carrying on.” What exactly don’t you find to your taste?

      I’m sorry you think that Mueller’s report was “tendentious.” What is it about obstruction of justice that you don’t understand?

      Delete
    10. Anonymous @4:22P,

      deadrat your response to David is unusual in that it presents good and reasonable counter arguments

      Thanks, I guess. But my PSAs about David in Cal always present that kind of argument. Read them.

      in sharp contrast to your typical snarky and pedantic responses.

      Snarky and pedantic are what I’m going for, so thanks again, I guess.

      But I suspect that your appreciation for my last response is simply that you agreed with me this time.

      But I’ll take all the faint praise I can get.

      Delete
    11. deadrat, I think the checkbox about having second or firsthand info is there as a screening mechanism that distinguishes the type of report as being one that meets the WB status. You can file various complaints and reports about various sorts of issues, concerns about malfeasance, that don’t garner WB status.

      “If you think wrongdoing took place, but can provide nothing more than second- hand or unsubstantiated assertions, IC IG will not be able to process the complaint or information for submission as an ICWPA.”

      That doesn’t suggest that an Urgent Request is one where there will be an investigation of whether there is any firsthand claimant where it is then “promptly” passed on. That sounds like there are various levels of reports that generate different levels of response, some bumped up to WB after an investigation, etc.

      As to the other, David argues in good faith. I think the sort of Salem Village -If The Villagers Experienced Paranoia AND Road Rage...stuff is terribly harsh.

      Delete
    12. I think the checkbox about having second or firsthand info is there as a screening mechanism that distinguishes the type of report as being one that meets the WB status.

      And in this you would think wrong. WB status is granted by the Whistleblower Protection Act, 5USC2302(b)(8)-(9), Pub.L. 101-12, which protects someone who has a reasonable belief that malfeasance has been committed. The form does not override the law.

      You can file various complaints and reports about various sorts of issues, concerns about malfeasance, that don’t garner WB status.

      Sure, but if you have a reasonable belief that malfeasance has occurred then you get WB status.

      About “unsubstantiated assertions.” If the ICIG cannot substantiate the assertions, then the ICIG would have a hard time processing the complaint. So what?

      That sounds like there are various levels of reports that generate different levels of response, some bumped up to WB after an investigation, etc.

      Again, so what? The level of response is commensurate with the seriousness of the complaint. The highest level is “urgent concern” and requires reports to Congressional oversight committees. But it is the complaint that gets “bumped up,” not the status of the WB, who is covered under the ICWPA for any report made in reasonable belief.

      As to the other, David argues in good faith.

      No, he doesn’t. An argument requires intellectual capability and good faith requires moral capacity. David in Cal as a moral and intellectual idiot has neither. All he ever does, as he did here, is to regurgitate right-wing propaganda, in this case from federalist.com.

      I think the sort of Salem Village -If The Villagers Experienced Paranoia AND Road Rage...stuff is terribly harsh.

      I’m sorry, but I don’t understand this at all. What do you think is so harsh?

      Delete
    13. Cecelia you should do more research as your view is not correct; however, at this point the WB (who checked both boxes) report contention is moot as it has been corroborated and superseded by other evidence.

      Did US Intelligence Eliminate a Requirement That Whistleblowers Provide Firsthand Knowledge?

      Delete
  9. Would any of Somerby’s defenders (deadrat?) like to deal with the actual topic of Somerby’s post, which is “did liberals do something wrong such that we cannot ‘get’ conservatives to agree with us that Trump is crazy or venal?”

    I find this question illogical. He is saying “liberals are terrible, therefore Trump voters think Trump is an honest stable genius.” As I said before, liberals being terrible might mean that conservatives wouldn’t vote for liberals, but it doesn’t explain conservatives’ inability to see the truth about Trump.

    Clearly, Somerby doesn’t think that all conservatives are racists, or moral idiots, or what have you, so he thinks liberals should respectfully reach out to them. And he apparently thinks this could work if liberals just dropped the “identity politics.”

    My view is that Republicans are so heavily propagandized that this would never work. The policy differences are too profound, and the GOP has a vested interest in demonizing liberals regardless of how liberals actually behave.

    Does anyone agree with Somerby’s take, and if so, how would one go about it?

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    Replies
    1. Besinnen on October 4, 2019 at 6:26 AM asks

      Would any of Somerby’s defenders (deadrat?) like to deal with the actual topic of Somerby’s post, which is “did liberals do something wrong such that we cannot ‘get’ conservatives to agree with us that Trump is crazy or venal?”

      Sure. TDH takes a hop (Don’t act in the same manner that you find objectionable in your political opponents) then a skip (Don’t cast your political opponents as the irredeemable “Other”) and then presumably a final jump (It’s our fault our political opponents aren’t convinced to see things our way).

      I say “presumably” because TDH phrases the jump as a question but then quotes Frost’s poem The Gift Outright thusly:

      Something we were withholding made us weak
      Until we found out that it was ourselves
      We were withholding from our land of living,
      And forthwith found salvation in surrender.


      Which I take it means that our ancestors lived in this country, weak at first because they withheld patriotic commitment to its nationhood. As TDH notes Frost read the poem at Kennedy’s inaugural and it’s of a piece with the “Ask not what your country can do for you” attitude.

      Apparently TDH thinks liberals have a similar kind of weakness that prevents us from helping others see the truths we see.

      Can we talk about what a deeply weird thing this is? The poem’s first lines are

      The land was ours before we were the land’s.
      She was our land more than a hundred years
      Before we were her people.


      Shouldn’t that be “The land was ours after we enslaved millions, killed the original inhabitants or herded them from their homes, and pillaged the land with the exploitation of cheap labor, but the real problem was that we didn’t love our nation enough”?

      Maybe Frost couldn’t get that sentiment to parse. What do I know about poetry? Well, I guess that’s all as may be.

      I’m with TDH on the first hop. I can understand the skip but can’t do it myself. And the last jump is into the absurd. That judgment pending his promised upcoming explanation.

      I’ll cut to the chase with this: if you tear children away from parents to put them in filthy concentration camps, then you’re a monster. If you do it for no reason other than to deter more parents from legally seeking asylum in an effort to satisfy your paranoid fantasies, then you’re doubly monstrous.

      If you support a regime that does this, and you’re unaware of what’s happening, you are derelict in your duty as a citizen and a human being. If you are aware of these facts, and support such a regime anyway, then you’ve lost your moral compass.

      Nothing I say or do should factor into your decision to be informed and once informed be so horrified that you speak out and publicly withhold your support from this regime.

      I don’t need to know that you’re cheering grift, treason, mendacity, and abuse of power. That you’re still around to cheer tells me everything about who you are. And what you’ve become has nothing to do with anything anyone has said, as nothing anyone could say provides any excuse for what you’ve become.

      Delete
  10. The "others" denigrate themselves with their cultural resentments and inability to believe things based on logic or reason.

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  11. If Bob's point is that Conservatives are reactionaries, Congratulations, Bob, welcome to the 1960s.

    ReplyDelete