Learn the lesson, Democrats


In war, two mistakes are not permitted   Russian proverb

Well, as Maureen McGovern once sang, “There’s got to be a morning after,” and for Democrats, the morning after Mueller is here. Fortunately, it’s not the morning after in an apocalyptic movie, where the dazed survivors stand on the roof of the mall, staring out at the smoking wasteland surrounding them. But it’s also not the morning after in a Chris Columbus movie either, where the kids jump up and down on mom and dad’s bed, and everybody laughs their way downstairs for breakfast.

Robert Mueller was not monumental, but he was an effective tool when used properly. The intelligence committee was better, for a couple of reasons. First, with Mueller as a more than willing guide, they reintroduced, for the first time, America to the absurdity that there was “no collusion” between the Trump campaign and Russia. The seemingly endless litany of Trump campaign cronies, including the head cheese himself, who strove to gain financially from their ties between Russia and the campaign was jarring, mainly because Mueller could tie the evidence together in a linear package. Mueller also stated, for the first time for most viewers, that inconclusive evidence for an indictment didn’t mean  evidence, and that some evidence was unavailable, and people lied to cover other evidence up. The intelligence committee put Russian interference, and the Trump campaign’s gleeful acceptance of it, back on the map again.

While a little rockier and schlockier than Intelligence, the Judiciary committee also got what they wanted. Although Mueller would not read from the report himself, they nonetheless got the majority of the pertinent information on the five strongest cases of obstruction out over the air, by reading it themselves, and allowing Mueller to confirm the authenticity. They also bookmarked Mueller effectively to the detriment of the GOP members. By thanking Mueller for his service, and highlighting his heroism in combat, and public service, they made the GOP members look like shits for throwing shit at Mueller, and by ending every round of questioning with “If anyone but the President did this, he would have been indicted,” they drove home the chasm between Michael Cohen and Donald Trump.

The old saying is that “The third time is the charm,” and for the Democrats dreams of impeachment, I hope that’s true. because DAYUMN! have they wasted a lot of time!
The Democrats strategic error was placing all of their hopes in the devastating impact of the Mueller report, an event which Tubby the Ewok circumvented with his base treachery. Once witnesses had testified to Mueller, there was no reason not to call them to testify to congress, especially since the administration would have been hard pressed to deny them to congress if they were letting them testify to Mueller. Now they need to play catch up, and against administration obstruction.

It can be done, but the Democrats need to be fast, and they need to be effective. The Mueller hearing generated some buzz, but congress is going to adjourn for their summer recess next week The Democrats can’t afford to waste that time, they must use it to be filing and fighting their subpoenas in court, so that witnesses like McGahn, Donaldson, and Lewandowski can be brought in as early as possible once the recess is over. Strangely enough, the Democrats got an unintentional assist from the GOP on this. By agreeing to a budget and debt ceiling extension before the break, they eliminated a nasty floor fight in September that could have distracted attention from any Democratic hearings.

But the most important thing the Democrats can do to gin up support for impeachment is to use Trump’s most powerful tool against him, the media. What have been the three highest intensity events of the entire Trump-Russia scandal? James Comey’s testimony, Michael Cohen’s testimony, and Robert Mueller’s testimony. All three were covered extensively live by the media, and all three caused endless cycles of terrible coverage for Trump. Also, they drove him insane.

The Democrats need hearings, and lost of them, and they must be public. No more of this “closed session” shit. They don’t need to expose classified shit, they need to expose shit publicly. Here’s a perfect example. It was a terrible decision to let Hope Hicks testify behind closed doors. That hearing should have been held publicly, and broadcast. It’s one thing to hear or read that White house attorneys wouldn’t even let Hicks tell the panel where her office was located, it would be another thing entirely to sit there and watch that kind of nonsense live. Subpoena the witnesses if they have to, but get them in front of cameras. People will watch, and when they see the Barr and Trump administration obstruction play out time after time, they’ll begin to holler, and the impeachment needle will start to move when people see the depth to which Trump will go to hide the facts.

There is still time for impeachment, but what there no longer is time for is dicking around. Nadler said yesterday that House lawyers will be in court today petitioning the judge to release the grand jury transcripts, and also asking another judge to enforce their contempt citation against Don McGahn by ordering him to testify. Use the next week to issue subpoenas for people like Porter, Priebus, and Lewandowski for right after the recess is over, and be ready to go to court during the recess to enforce them as quickly after congress returns as possible. The Democrats can still make a serious play for impeachment if they want it. But, that’s the question isn’t it, how badly do they want it?

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  1. Mueller. Pathetic. Republican. And they’re all the same.
    Time to swallow hard, nominate Biden (despite horrifying incidents of touching a woman’s shoulder without the proper permission forms) and win the election (unless the woke-foke sit it out again).
    Impeachment would fail, rally the goober dirt-bag army even more than cheering over kids in cages does, and be a circus that makes us look weak — in that we would seem to be admitting we can’t beat the guy any other way.
    Of course my fear remains that the pander-fest currently known as the Democratic primary season will give us a feel-good gee-we-are-so-righteous nominee with zero shot. As in, Sens. Warren or Harris.
    Wrong gender, folks. This still being Amurrica and all. And ‘plans for that’ don’t mean a hill of Trump’s hair dye.
    (Those last sentiments got me permanently banned from the Kos after 15 years so I appreciate the chance to speak my mind free from the PC Bubble Patrol over there. Of course they still send me five e-mails a day begging for money. Apparently Markos is eating gruel these days.)

    • It’s sad if Daily Kos banned you for saying a woman can’t get elected in 2020. I think that was the biggest takeaway from the 2016 election. And believe me, i don’t take pleasure in saying that. I would vote for Elizabeth Warren in a heartbeat. She’s clearly the brainiest and has the best policies in my book. This is not a normal election. We need to get Trump out. There is no other quest. I’m playing it safe with Biden. If I’m wrong I’m wrong. As Murf said at the beginning of this piece, “in war you can’t make two mistakes.”

      • Lots of people are saying a woman can’t be elected, but they are wrong. If Biden’s campaign continues the way it’s been so far, he won’t be too far into the nomination before HE is unelectable. Sorry but I don’t think a campaign that consists of constantly justifying clumsy misstatements is likely to success, especially since I can’t think of a single issue Biden owns or is a leading advocate for. His entire campaign seems to be “I’m good old Joe, a nice white man, and people like me.” To me it’s the worst optic and the worst voter motivator at a time when our party is younger, more diverse & more female. I strongly believe Biden will struggle more than any other candidate, partly because of his own ineptness and partly because Trump knows how to handle old white men.

        I’m startled you would say this is a takeaway from an election a woman won by nearly 3 million votes, so obviously people WILL vote for a woman. The reason she didn’t win the election had zero to do with her gender, and everything to do with voter suppression, Russian interference and a wildly biased media.

        Daily Kos has become a hub of bullying and a opinion policing like I have never seen in my 15 years there. As I mentioned in another thread, I got two warnings within 24 hours simply for saying that I didn’t think “AOC” walked on water. I called her shallow and under informed, which is incredibly mild compared to criticisms I see there of people like Nancy Pelosi. It’s why I long ago took to referring to it as the Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez Fan Club newsletter.

        • On electing a woman … I want to believe; I just don’t. HRC did lose after all, despite the unfairness of the absurd EC system. On Biden, I just think (most) ‘people like him’ and Presidential elections are a strange animal.
          I also don’t think our diverse rank-and-file is numerous enough to win; we can’t write off the kind of folks I see by the hundreds here in suburban Phila who would flood out for Biden but would be a tough sell for Warren or Harris. And I’m not talking about Trumpers; those people are gone. Issues just don’t have salience past a certain point and quite honestly, to me? Warren is annoying as hell. I like Harris but I just don’t see her coming close to Trump. Of course I’ve been massively wrong before, so …
          On the DK … wow are you right. Angering to me as an early adopter of that place; 2004 or so. I got timed-out for saying David Gregory of NBC “rubs Republican groin” on TV. This was … “anti-gay”!

          • The figures don’t bear you out: there are many many times more “diverse rank and file” than “suburban” people who would supposedly “flood out” for Biden. For each voter of these supposed “suburban” voters who wouldn’t vote for Democrat unless the choice is Biden there are probably 25 or more voters who COULD turn out who are definitely on our side but just not that enthused about another old white man. I’ve heard this argument from virtually every white male candidate in the race: “I am the ONE who can win those white working class male Trump voters.” No — you can’t. The flippable ones are scarce as hen’s teeth. It really is all about turnout on OUR side.

            And yes, Hillary did lose after all,” but if we persist in clinging to the myth that her gender had anything to do with it, we’re not addressing the real problem: GOP voter suppression. That definitely lost her Wisconsin and Michigan on its own, and possibly Florida, North Carolina and Pennsylvania. It’s why the Republicans are working so hard to maintain their ability to suppress the vote whether with or without Russia help.

            I started on DailyKos in 2004 too – and I actually got a time out for something similar and equally as stupid. I said someone was “off the reservation” and got piled on for being anti-Native American. Good grief.

    • I have a question for you: should Warren or Harris win the nomination so convincingly even you have to admit the process was legitimate, will you vote for either of these women?

      • I’d vote for them in a heartbeat and implore my neighbors here in suburban Philadelphia — a major part of the base now — to do the same! As for ‘legitimacy of process’? I’m no 2016-style Bernie fan … OF COURSE the process is legitimate! We’ll have millions upon millions of people voting in the primaries … how much more legit can it get? I just wonder when Bernie crashes and burns what the excuses will be this time: Media unfairness? “Debate schedules”? Superdelegates?

        • Just a precautionary preliminary query as I’m tired of arguing with Bernie’s hardcore fans. I believe no matter who ultimately is our candidate, we’re gonna move heaven and earth to get them elected. We can’t afford not to. If a potential voter just can’t bring themselves to pull the lever for “that woman,” (a la 2016) we never really had their vote to begin with. Between now and November 2020, the base has to be expanded until it’s focused, broad and deep.

  2. I don’t know…for me, impeachment is kinda dead. The whole experience of the Mueller didn’t sway me in feeling the Trump could be legitimately Impeached, and that this might be the right thing to do, but it also left me feeling that impeachment is pointless and not the right remedy for this moment in our history.

    I think this pessimism over impeachment stems from a sentiment that even if it were successful, it wouldn’t accomplish much of anything, and if it fails…which is entirely probable…it would be a setback to everything. Trump is a horrible president. He’s probably the worst president. But there are fundamental flaws in our systems and institutions that will endure beyond Trump, and I think maybe it’s time to focus our energies on these. Let’s work to secure our elections. Impossible with Trump and McConnell in power? Perhaps. But not as impossible as impeachment, with arguably greater rewards.

    I’m not saying let Trump off the hook. I think the justice department and every state A.G. should descend on him with indictments the moment it’s tenable to do so. We should take his business from him, and destroy everything he’s built (or at least all the parts he hasn’t already destroyed himself.)

    But on impeachment…it’s not where my focus is, and I personally think it’s a waste of time. That was reinforced at the hearing yesterday, and the bottom line lesson for me what that Russia is a far greater enemy than Trump, so I’m not inclined to continue spending energy on the impeachment issue. Fortunately, the framers built a revolution into the constitution every four years.

    • Russia is a far greater enemy than Trump and securing our elections is what we must do — or democracy doesn’t go out with a bang, it whimpers to the floor with stolen elections and nobody having confidence in the process anymore.

      • As a designer, I have the skills and equipment necessary to make a video of Kamala Harris accepting a burlap sack with a dollar sign on it from Elvis. I’m really concerned about deep fake treachery in this election.

      • McConnell blocking election protections is a lot more significant than arguing about impeachment which in the current climate is as likely to be a disaster for Democrats as a success. As I just said to my Senator, Rob “Pusillanimous” Portman in a message I left for him that, I don’t care if he believe there was or wasn’t Russian interference in 2016, if he believe Trump knew or didn’t know, if he believes Trump welcomed the interference or didn’t, and whether he believe Trump colluded or not, if he doesn’t barge into McConnell’s office and DEMAND a vote on an election protections bill for 2020 he needs to take down every American flag in his office, throw out any flag lapel pins he has and never refer to himself as an “American” or a “patriot” again. There’s just no possible excuse for not protecting our elections going forward.

      • I called Portman and told him if he doesn’t charge into McConnell’s office to demand a vote on election protection, he needs to remove every American flag from his office because he hates our country.

    • Given the amount of criminal, corrupt, and traitorous behavior on the scale that Dimwit Donny and his minions are committing, if THEY don’t get impeached, who would be?
      They impeached Bill C. for lying about a blow job.
      The current resident has had sexual escapades as well, AND paid to cover it up, with campaign funds, and his co-conspirator is IN JAIL for it.
      Just that is grounds in itself to start, without the sheer volumes of other ‘high crimes and misdemeanors’ ON RECORD.
      If this m**********er doesn’t get impeached, NO-ONE ever will be!

      • Sadly, that is correct. No one will be, because Republicans and the media which enables IOKIYAR will make sure of that. We have to stop obsessing about impeachment and look for other avenues of attack.

  3. You are correct that the Media is the answer. The stronger, the clearer, the louder, the more resonating, the more persistent, the more “Media Dominating” these hearings are, the better…including wherever possible INCONTROVERTIBLE EVIDENCE of the Russian attacks on our elections, along with strong messaging as to which party will be better for funding and implementing immediate protections against these attacks, which our “Commander Asleep at the Wheel”, thinks are a hoax.
    PS: It could not hurt the cause if he evidence could be presented by young, healthy, attractive, intelligent, articulate FBI agents of both sexes and different ethnic and racial backgrounds. In a political climate where (for better or worse), television reigns supreme, optics count more than they should.

    • I dunno, but the Mueller hearings left me feeling more optimistic. I finally see what (hopefully) is the game plan: with every passing day from now until November 2020, we bury this illegitimate administration and the rest of the GOP with televised hearings of devastating testimony–hostile or not–and regular revelation of incontrovertible evidence proving the lies, treasonous dealings with a hostile foreign power, massive corruption, as well as their shitheaded, systemic obstruction to legislation popular with almost all Americans, resulting in an avalanche of bad press, a tsunami of bad news cresting around November 1 of 2020. As game plans go to educate Independents, further horrify what’s left of moderate Republicans, and keep the base galvanized, it may very well shake up this country enough to defeat the GOP so soundly, it never recovers. Then again, it may not. One thing’s sure, though: the time for calculation is long past done. Whatever the game plan is, beginning impeachment hearings NOW and taking them live is crucial.


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