Slate on the logic of impeachment!


Best attempt we've seen: In its modern incarnation, Slate is perhaps best known for its examination of nagging life-style issues.

In just the past two days, the site has responded to "Help! I’ve Been Bitten by a Bat and Charged With Soliciting a Prostitute," but also to "Help! My Wife Spent Our Entire Life Savings in the Last Three Months." And that wasn't all! There's been more!

Readers are invited to guess if the inquiries come from actual people. Sometimes, the people who write these Slate advice columns allege that they aren't sure.

Today, Slate has augmented its "real world" fare with the best attempt we've seen so far at discussing the constitutional authority involved in the upcoming impeachment trial of the exiled commander. The author of the piece is Neil Kinkopf, a law professor at Georgia State.

Kinkopf cites legislative and legal history as he defends the claim that the Senate is authorized to try a former president. We can't judge his account of that history, but his logic is clearly in place.

Kinkopf pays less attention to that possible second Senate vote—the vote to disqualify Trump from seeking office again. You can see his analysis here: 

KINKOPF (1/26/21): The Constitution’s structure also confirms the original understanding that former officers may be impeached. If the only punishment for impeachment and conviction were removal from office, that would strongly indicate that the power applies only to current officers, since it would be futile to convict someone who holds no office from which to be removed. But removal is not the only constitutionally sanctioned punishment. The Constitution also authorizes the Senate to disqualify a person convicted from ever holding federal office. An officer who is convicted of accepting bribes could avoid this disqualification by the simple expedient of resignation. The impeachment of Trump vividly illustrates the point. He stands impeached for inciting sedition and waging war on our democracy. Disqualifying him from ever holding office again would be anything but futile.

Again, Kinkopf's logic is firmly in place. He doesn't attempt to parse the fuzzy constitutional language concerning the alleged authorization "to disqualify a person convicted from ever holding federal office." He also doesn't discuss the alleged authorization to levy this penalty by a simple majority vote.

For our money, the largest problem remains the way these two Senate votes intersect. If fifty Democrats, all by themselves, can bar the popular Republican Trump from running again, this would seem to cement the likelihood that very few Republican senators are ever going to vote for conviction in the first place.

That means that Trump will be "acquitted." That's a bad talking point.

At any rate, Kinkopf has performed the most unusual modern journalistic service. He has lit the way toward a genuine discussion and debate, one which isn't mainly about being bitten by a bat. 

On the down side, that discussion avoids the main question—how do we draw political support away from Galloping Trumpism? 

In Our Town, we tend to focus on locking miscreants up (or in this case, out) in lieu of persuading the others. We don't know how to speak to others, and so we dream of locking their favorites out.


  1. "We don't know how to speak to others, and so we dream of locking their favorites out."

    Look who's talking.

    May we suggest, dear Bob, that your condescension towards "others" who, in your opinion, need to be spoken to, in order to "draw political support away from Galloping Trumpism", is far less attractive than even garden variety neanderthal dembottery?

    1. We don't often agree, but you are correct here. Speaking with Right-wingers is a complete waste of time.
      Ignore them, and work around them.

    2. Mao,

      Thank you for your comments. It saddens me to read the comments from the brain dead liberals who are so easily manipulated by the propoganda machine. Their stupidity is breathtaking.

      Thank you for your voice of reason.

    3. It is a very hard situation when playing the lottery and never won, or keep winning low fund not up to 100 bucks, i have been a victim of such a tough life, the biggest fund i have ever won was 100 bucks, and i have been playing lottery for almost 12 years now, things suddenly change the moment i came across a secret online, a testimony of a spell caster called DR EMU, who help people in any type of lottery numbers, i was not easily convinced, but i decided to give try, now i am a proud lottery winner with the help of DR EMU, i won $1,000.0000.00 and i am making this known to every one out there who have been trying all day to win the lottery, believe me this is the only way to win the lottery. contact him via email: call or whats app +2347012841542 Website:

  2. ""Help! My Wife Spent Our Entire Life Savings in the Last Three Months."

    I guess Somerby has never heard of gambling addiction. It is not a joke.

    Another possibility is that his wife is a shopaholic (another mental disorder), or she perhaps has incipient dementia and was conned by one of the many people who prey on the elderly. Or it could be an act of revenge due to anger over divorce or adultery.

    Somerby thinks this is just clickbait, but the reason people click on this stuff is because these articles reflect real life problems.

    Somerby's willingness to mock the things that women care about, and the things that people who are not himself want to read, shows none of the empathy for others that he keeps urging on liberals and "Our Town". In our town, people have problems and other people tend to care about them.

  3. "If fifty Democrats, all by themselves, can bar the popular Republican Trump from running again..."

    Trump is no longer popular.

    It also keeps sounding like Somerby doesn't believe in the way democracy operates. Many votes are accomplished by a simple majority, not a super-majority. Those 50 votes, plus the VP, constitute a majority of the Senate and the way our government works on many issues is that a majority determines the outcome of the vote, determines the issue.

    I didn't hear Somerby complaining when Trump won without any majority of the votes. How wrong was it that Clinton was robbed of office and the much larger majority of voters had to suffer Trump instead? Somerby was busy excusing the ugliness of Trump's inaugural speech. Democrats sucked it up because WE in Our Town recognize that the government operates under rules that we all agree to. Except for Somerby and Trump.

    1. If a person or an issue is insufficiently "popular" to gain 50% +1 of the votes in the Senate, then that person is called a loser. When the opposite side has 50 but not the tie-breaking vote, they have fewer votes than the winner. That makes them, by definition, less popular than the winner.

      I hope Somerby realizes that votes are not about popularity. Gore ultimately lost because he was not well-liked, but for other reasons too. I voted for him, but with great reluctance, holding my nose, because he let Tipper attack rock-n-roll and hip-hop song lyrics (how racist is that?).

  4. "On the down side, that discussion avoids the main question—how do we draw political support away from Galloping Trumpism?"

    We start by electing a different president. Oh, wait, we already did that.

    What on earth is Somerby talking about? Who cares about the minority of voters (not of the American people), who still say they approve of the FORMER president. The senate does not reflect popular opinion if none of the Republicans vote to convict Trump -- the gap suggests the extent of political partisanship in such a vote. It is NOT based on Trump's popularity, whatever that means. A lot of Republicans are scared shitless of him and his aggressive followers. That isn't the same thing as popularity.

  5. "In Our Town, we tend to focus on locking miscreants up (or in this case, out) in lieu of persuading the others."

    As I recall, Our Town did not engage in the most federal executions of any modern president. We did not lock children in cages for being asylum-seekers. We are not the ones chanting "lock her up" at our rallies.

    Somerby has huge nerve suggesting that we are the ones with a bloodlust to incarcerate THE ONLY PRESIDENT IN HISTORY WHO HAS ENGINEERED A COUP TO OVERTURN A VALID ELECTION (WHICH HE LOST BY A LARGE MARGIN).

    If Trump's crimes are insufficient to merit conviction, then no crime is. He committed treason (among other things) and he needs to be held accountable or democracy, law and government are made a mockery.

    Can Somerby be any more offensive without becoming Tucker Carlson?

    1. Whereas in The Others skip lockup and go right to execution:

      "Republican Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene repeatedly indicated support for executing prominent Democratic politicians in 2018 and 2019 before being elected to Congress, a CNN KFile review of hundreds of posts and comments from Greene’s Facebook page shows."

    2. "A commenter asked Greene, “Now do we get to hang them ?? Meaning H & O ???,” referring to Obama and Hillary Clinton.

      Greene replied, “Stage is being set. Players are being put in place. We must be patient. This must be done perfectly or liberal judges would let them off.”

      But Somerby thinks the Democrats are the ones eager to prosecute!

    3. Trump won't be convicted. All presidents are criminals. Obama's crimes are sufficient to merit conviction as are Biden's forthcoming crimes.

      You're a stupid rube who has been played by charlatans into thinking your side is good and their side is bad. Both sides are bad and you are a savage colonialist living off of the bounty of slavery, classism and imperial murder as we all are.

      Everything you describe here is a fantasy puppet show for your entertainment and a way to avoid the hard truths of your savage greed which is made possible by the savage imperialists who you defend as being somehow good.

      You've been played but you're too stupid to see it. Enjoy your latte!! It's been paid for with blood. But don't worry your blogosphere friends won't burden you with such truths and you can spend your day thinking about how morally superior you are! HAHAHAHAHAHHAHAHAHA!

    4. "He committed treason (among other things) and he needs to be held accountable"

      Says the idiot mark of MSNBC propaganda.

    5. 10:11,
      But what about UNITY?

      An impeachment trial in the Senate will unite GOP Senators with liberals, in calling the Republican base a "bunch of snowflakes, who should be ignored".

    6. Get the GOP Senators on record, in calling the Republican base a bunch of morons, who thought they heard Trump call for insurrection.
      Republicans speaking the truth in Congress will be more than just refreshing. It may be a way out of this idiocy.

    7. 10:42,
      Republican politicians know their constituents are rubes. Let's get them on record actually admitting it.

    8. The only meaningful unity would be unity of workers from both parties unifying against the savage oligarchal power that controls both parties and the major media outlets that pretend to represent constituent rubes of each party like yourself.

    9. 11:15,
      I'm not thrilled about living in an oligarchy either, but at least whites suffer equally under Democrats.

  6. "...impeached for inciting sedition and waging war on our democracy."

    Bob, we don't care about talking points anymore. We don't care if they acquit Trump and take the side of sedition. Republicans now wear forever the scarlet letter S for sedition--murderous sedition. They're the ones who need to speak, not us. They need to apologize to the nation. Wake the fuck up, man!

  7. This comment has been removed by the author.

  8. Let’s review:

    Somerby kept attacking liberals in 2018 over the Kavanaugh hearings: “this is one of the obvious ways we've managed to create our current debased situation.”

    Result: Democrats win back the House with the largest takeback in decades.

    First Trump impeachment:
    “How strange! In this one particular poll, the commander's approval rating has "significantly improved" since impeachment started in earnest!”

    The BLM protests:
    "Goodbye, Wisconsin," top experts now say!

    And: ‘"Goodbye, Minnesota," top experts glumly add!’

    Result: Biden wins the Presidency, wins Wisconsin and Minnesota, Democrats win the Senate, and hold the House.

    Somerby’s track record as a prognosticator is piss poor.

    He is what is known as a shitlib.

    He is, or pretends to be, a liberal, whose only purpose in life is to shit on liberals.

    When liberals lose, he shits on them.

    When they win, he shits on them.

    1. This comment has been removed by the author.

  9. “how do we draw political support away from Galloping Trumpism?”

    We won the election, moron. House, Senate, Presidency.

  10. “We don't know how to speak to others, and so we dream of locking their favorites out.”

    The shitlib rules out the moral decision to hold a traitor/seditionist accountable for an attack on our democracy. The shitlib urges an immoral political triangulation.

    Somerby can only see a liberal failure. He is a shitlib.

    He fails to see the moral bankruptcy of the GOP, who demands that Democrats fold in the face of their assholery.

    He urges liberals, in the name of “talking” to the Others, to countenance endless crime and corruption, sheepishly caving to their awesome “power”.

    That is how you lose.

    You win by using every ounce of power you have, taking a cue from the Republican playbook.

    You win by acting like winners, not taking advice from shitlibs.

    Lincoln, who got slightly less than 40% of the vote in 1860, didn’t descend into mealy-mouthed hand wringing when the South attacked Fort Sumter and seceded. Rather than engaging in gaslighting the Union by saying “we’re dumb, lazy, and no one likes us”, he determined to crush the South and force it to its knees. He believed the Union was right, the South wrong. Then, and only then, did he go all lofty with “malice toward none.”

    We cannot abide seditionists like Donald Trump.


    I want to use this opportunity I have to say a big thanks to Dr Great for getting back my ex husband. I’m Linda Gibson from USA, after 7 years of marriage my husband left me for another woman I did whatever I could to get him back but all I did was in vain I was sad, but I didn’t lose hope of getting him back because I had faith in God. So I search online on how to get my husband back, and I came across a post of Dr Great of how he helped a lady to get back her ex, I contacted him and told him the pain I was going through, he told me what to do and I did it, then he casted a love spell for me 48 hours later my husband called me and told me he is sorry for what he did and that he misses me very much, later that day he came back home and beg for my forgiveness, since then our love grew stronger. For the marvelous things Dr Great has done for me it would be unfair for me not to let the whole world know that such a powerful spell caster do live. If you want to get back your ex fast email Dr Great at or or add him up on WhatsApp +2348118829899 Blog: view his blog

  12. My name is Riana from USA i want to testify of a powerful spell caster who return my ex boyfriend,it all started when i took his phone and saw a lady message him that she enjoyed the last time and i confronted him about it he was angry and and stop talking to me from that day he started acting strange then he told me he didn't want me anymore that he loves someone else i was so diver-stated i cried all day and night he blocked me from his Instagram and on phone so i couldn't reach him anymore this made me sad and cry even the more i was searching for something online when i saw a comment about Dr Ogudugu great work i contacted him and told him about my problems and i did everything he asked me to do he told me after 24hrs my ex will return back to me well i doubted him though because my ex didn't want to have anything to do with me anymore the next day to my greatest surprise he called me and was begging me to give him another chance now we are both happy together all thanks to Dr Ogudugu he can also help you contact +2348063739701

  13. My husband and I have been having lots of problems living together, he never gives me attention or makes me happy because he has fallen in love with another woman outside our marriage. I tried my best to make sure that my husband leaves this woman but the more I talk to him about it the more he makes me feel sad and unhappy, My marriage started leading to divorce because he no longer gives me attention. I wanted to forget him but i love him and didn't want to lose him. We have been married for years and he is all I could call a true best friend and best in all, the man that handles my problems perfectly, the man that makes sacrifices for ,my happiness. I wanted him back in my life badly and I was so confused. My Friends told me to buy books about relationships, so I went online for relationship books while I came across a spell caster called Dr Emu. I read testimonies and reviews about him so I contacted him immediately, explained my problems to him. Same day , he casted a spell for me and assured me for 2 days that my husband will return to me and to my greatest surprise the third day my husband came knocking on my door and begged for forgiveness. I am so happy that my love is back again and not only that, we are about to get married again, he proposed. I wouldn't stop talking about him. Contact him today if you need his help via email: and you will see that your problem will be solved without any delay. Website: