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Is the Constitution working?
Posted by: samintx
Date: October 08, 2019 09:26AM
So far from the Mueller report to todays back out of testimony, I have not seen the Constitution enforce or show its might except just to form committees. Cheeto has stopped, stonewalled the Constitution at every turn. Two jailed but no closer to coming down on 45 than we were 2 1/2 yrs ago.

It seems this is going to go on forever till re-election.smiley-talk034
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Re: Is the Constitution working?
Posted by: rjmacs
Date: October 08, 2019 09:42AM
It's working, it's just not working as designed.

Here's my take on the WH strategy:

They know the House will vote to impeach now that they've committed to it. What's left to be decided is impeached for what, and on what evidence.

The more ammunition they hand over to Congress in the form of witnesses and documents, the worse the case against the president for reelection in 2020.

Typically, ignoring a Congressional subpoena can be punished with a contempt citation from Congress, which carries the threat of imprisonment and/or fines. However, AG Barr has made clear that if the Justice Dept (qua Barr) determines that a subpoena is not legitimate, it will not enforce a subsequent contempt citation from Congress.

This means there's basically no recourse for Congress to obtain the testimony and documents it needs, even in impeachment proceedings, because the administration simply stonewalls and refuses to comply.

It remains a possibility that a case of obstruction could be fast-tracked to the SCotUS, but that would require the Court's willingness to take a case and intervene in this process, something it is historically loathe to do. Also historically, popular outcry and outrage have zero effect on the Court's action/inaction in these circumstances.

So, the WH's best option is: hold out on the Ukraine scandal, stonewall, and try to keep the most damning evidence from being produced and scrutinized. Keep hammering at the Democrats and their 'coup,' and claiming it's all about the 2016 election. (Translation: hold onto the base.) Then, when acquitted by the Senate, ramp up a campaign that is all about the anti-democratic Democrats.

+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

So, this all leaves the Democrats few options. They will continue to press for as much information as they can get through the whistleblower reports, documents already in hand, and testimony from witnesses who agree to appear. I think Schiff is confident that he can lay out a case of extortion against the president re: Ukraine.

They will also likely add an article of impeachment citing his obstruction of Congressional investigations, and illegal refusal to comply with lawful subpoenas and legitimate oversight requests.

The Senate, of course, will acquit and face the consequences in November 2020.



rj
AKA
Vreemac, Moth of the Future
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Re: Is the Constitution working?
Posted by: deckeda
Date: October 08, 2019 10:03AM
At the moment, the GOP isn't interested in what's happened or why it matters. They only seek to retain power and cloak it in the lie about a so-called Democratic conspiracy where evidence doesn't exist. And there are good reasons in any year not to rely on SCOTUS.

Running the clock and frustrating more liberal people posting online is their best defense. Feel like playing? No? Then settle in and take things as they come, for there really isn't much alternative.

No one ever gets impeached without their own party signing on, even if just enough to barely make it happen. That much I think is certainly by design, for obvious reasons.

If the tide should turn however, and the tide is still building up, look for the dominoes to fall quickly because Allah-bless 'em, they're nothing if not united (which is precisely why we are where we are today.)

I do think that people who "reasonably" say, "just let voters decide" are actively subverting the Constitution because of course, the Constitution does indeed address impeachment. And of course they're wanting to run the clock and hope for a miracle.
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Re: Is the Constitution working?
Posted by: numbered
Date: October 08, 2019 10:04AM
I think rjmacs lays out the situation perfectly. I would say, though, that while SCOTUS is loathe to intervene in political disputes, some things are so over-the-top (eg, the idea that the president cannot be investigated, or that statutes with the word 'shall' can be ignored) that the lower courts might rule and the SCOTUS would let stand.

The test of this is the NY DA grand jury subpoena of the Trump Org. The 2nd Circuit will hold a hearing fast (since it is a grand jury issue) and then we shall see if the SCOTUS would grant cert. I am guessing no.
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Re: Is the Constitution working?
Posted by: Lemon Drop
Date: October 08, 2019 10:10AM
So we've had a bunch of big men dragging their big egos around Eastern Europe as Trump's fixers, like its 1992. Sondland is one of them, apparently.

Dems can ad this blocking of Mr. Sondland's testimony to the obstruction charge that will likely be included in the articles of impeachment.

Sondland says he's being obedient to the president by not testifying - wouldn't it be great if he decided to be obedient to the Constitution and the values it represents, resigned the State Dept, got his butt over to Capital HIll and told the truth? That would be a way to honor his parents, who escaped to the US from Nazi Germany. This current behavior? Not so much.
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Re: Is the Constitution working?
Posted by: Markintosh
Date: October 08, 2019 10:18AM
In short, no.



“Live your life, love your life, don’t regret…live, learn and move forward positively.” – CR Johnson
Loving life in Lake Tahoe, CA
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Re: Is the Constitution working?
Posted by: deckeda
Date: October 08, 2019 10:20AM
Exactly, Lemon. That's what Volker did. Sondland's decision isn't surprising given the tone of his texts (as well as the text of his texts).

Everyone is playing their roles this morning, including Sondland's lawyer who claimed he wanted to testify (sure thing!) to Trump who conveniently only quotes Sondland's text where he said oh-by-the-way-nothing-to-see-here-hehe to lackeys in Congress claiming its all a sham.

But hey, don't testify and let maybe someone else decide. Just decide yourself and skip the testimony?

If Democrats don't pick up serious numbers of seats in both houses of Congress next year, this whole place is pretty much @#$%&.
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Re: Is the Constitution working?
Posted by: btfc
Date: October 08, 2019 10:24AM
The constitution isn't an instant gratification document, it operates on a slow time frame.
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Re: Is the Constitution working?
Posted by: Lemon Drop
Date: October 08, 2019 10:33AM
Quote
btfc
The constitution isn't an instant gratification document, it operates on a slow time frame.

Indeed.

I don't expect the SCOTUS to be involved at all with the impeachment inquiry. Pelosi has a timetable and she's managing the clock for the next 11 months. What remains unknown is what Republicans will do; if Dems sense that opposition to Trump is building (and I disagree that the GOP will be all or nothing) they may lengthen the impeachment inquiry to give that more time to form.

I think the GOP could fracture with an anti-Trump coalition led by Mitt Romney, Susan Collins, and possibly Cory Gardner, plus a number of House Republicans who know Trump is unfit to lead. I think this is already underway because there are Republicans who can see into the future a little further than Lindsey Graham and they have a desire to be on the right side of that history, and to preserve their own power and reputations. Utahans despise Donald Trump; Romney's on safe ground.

Public support for impeachment will continue to build; White House obstruction is only making it worse for them.
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Re: Is the Constitution working?
Posted by: deckeda
Date: October 08, 2019 10:45AM
I think the Republicans in Congress wanting to be on the right side of history are the ones that have been fleeing Congress. They need cover in order to speak out, and if a few have it unrelated to not seeking reelection, then they'll ALL have it.
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Re: Is the Constitution working?
Posted by: cbelt3
Date: October 08, 2019 10:46AM
The constitution is fine. The politicians are ignoring it.
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Re: Is the Constitution working?
Posted by: rjmacs
Date: October 08, 2019 10:48AM
You need twenty (count 'em, 20) Republican Senators to convict. That's a much bigger caucus than Mitt, Susan, and Cory.



rj
AKA
Vreemac, Moth of the Future
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Re: Is the Constitution working?
Posted by: samintx
Date: October 08, 2019 11:13AM
Quote
cbelt3
The constitution is fine. The politicians are ignoring it.

If the Constitution can be ignored with no consequences as now, how is it working? People not testifying,ignoring subpoenas....? “Shall” has its meaning questioners. YOU SHALL dud dud......has no inforcement or meaning. The same as other sentences in the text of the Constitution..open for interpretation there but in everyday life the words mean what they say.



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 10/08/2019 11:32AM by samintx.
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Re: Is the Constitution working?
Posted by: Sarcany
Date: October 08, 2019 11:20AM
Quote
rjmacs
They know the House will vote to impeach now that they've committed to it...

Not so.

They could play it out until the election, claiming that they're leaving it "up to the people" to try and save face for being weasely cowards.

And if the political will really wanes then they could just advance a non-binding "tsk tsk" resolution. (Which would ALSO fail in the Senate.)



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Re: Is the Constitution working?
Posted by: rjmacs
Date: October 08, 2019 11:49AM
Quote
Sarcany
Quote
rjmacs
They know the House will vote to impeach now that they've committed to it...

Not so.

They could play it out until the election, claiming that they're leaving it "up to the people" to try and save face for being weasely cowards.

And if the political will really wanes then they could just advance a non-binding "tsk tsk" resolution. (Which would ALSO fail in the Senate.)

You don't know Nancy.



rj
AKA
Vreemac, Moth of the Future
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Re: Is the Constitution working?
Posted by: Lemon Drop
Date: October 08, 2019 12:59PM
Quote
rjmacs
You need twenty (count 'em, 20) Republican Senators to convict. That's a much bigger caucus than Mitt, Susan, and Cory.

My comment was 'I think the GOP could fracture with an anti-Trump coalition led by Mitt Romney, Susan Collins, and possibly Cory Gardner..."

I wasn't counting impeachment votes. The GOP has fractured in the past, I think they're headed for another one. I think it's already happening.
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Re: Is the Constitution working?
Posted by: deckeda
Date: October 08, 2019 05:02PM
Quote
rjmacs
Quote
Sarcany
Quote
rjmacs
They know the House will vote to impeach now that they've committed to it...

Not so.

They could play it out until the election, claiming that they're leaving it "up to the people" to try and save face for being weasely cowards.

And if the political will really wanes then they could just advance a non-binding "tsk tsk" resolution. (Which would ALSO fail in the Senate.)

You don't know Nancy.

Part of me wants her to draw it out since there seems to be an endless menu of options. Let's choose the loaded version, all the fixins'. Ukraine? That's an appetizer. We also offer endless obstruction, and more. At some point, courts, if not the Senate, cannot abide by the obstruction. Calling everything under the sun a "conspiracy" will only take you so far.

Have the Senate begging to get it over with due to a smorgasbord of evidence, and let them corn hole him just before the election.
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Re: Is the Constitution working?
Posted by: Ted King
Date: October 08, 2019 06:31PM
Quote
deckeda
Quote
rjmacs
Quote
Sarcany
Quote
rjmacs
They know the House will vote to impeach now that they've committed to it...

Not so.

They could play it out until the election, claiming that they're leaving it "up to the people" to try and save face for being weasely cowards.

And if the political will really wanes then they could just advance a non-binding "tsk tsk" resolution. (Which would ALSO fail in the Senate.)

You don't know Nancy.

Part of me wants her to draw it out since there seems to be an endless menu of options. Let's choose the loaded version, all the fixins'. Ukraine? That's an appetizer. We also offer endless obstruction, and more. At some point, courts, if not the Senate, cannot abide by the obstruction. Calling everything under the sun a "conspiracy" will only take you so far.

Have the Senate begging to get it over with due to a smorgasbord of evidence, and let them corn hole him just before the election.

We know enough now, I think, to see that there are a whole lot of people that are close to Trump that have a probability of having broke a law or laws in trying to get Trump's quid-pro-quo that he is pretending isn't a quid-pro-quo - and hiding it. If so, the Democrats in the House can put together a historically viable case for impeachment without yet knowing the full extent of what Trump and his cronies did. The "transcript" he released is sufficient in and of itself as evidence of Trump saying that military aid to Ukrainians was contingent on the Ukrainians dirtying up Biden (and give some credence to a bazaar conspiracy to blame the Russians for interfering in the 2016 election when it was really some Ukrainians what done it). That is soliciting a foreign government to help with his own personal political agenda by withholding military aid - which was provided by the American public to aid them to fight the Russians. That is illegal and is legitimate grounds for impeachment.

Because Trump has that mob boss mentality of telling cronies what to do in a way that gives him at least a little bit of plausible deniability even though they very well know what he is telling them to do. The Republicans in Congress will ape any plausibly deniable BS Trump puts out - stretching and twisting the "plausibility" criteria to absurd lengths if necessary. They are too near the event horizon of Trump's black hole to be able to get away.

Trump will get to stay president because they are caught in his darkness, but those other guys that did his bidding (like Cohen before them)? For months to come, those other guys will be zeroed in on. The Democrats will be able to keep close Trump cronies in the forefront of the news for following Trump's non-order orders. That's gonna probably hurt his reelection chances a least a little bit.



Edited 2 time(s). Last edit at 10/08/2019 06:37PM by Ted King.
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