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Trump’s predictable triumph…

I have a question for readers who watch US politics more closely than I do these days: given how the process of impeaching a US President works & the nakedly political nature of the whole thing, in view of the cold hard number of Democrats vs. Republicans in the US Senate, what sequence of events did the architects of this venture see that would result in a different outcome?

How could this not have ended in a victory by Trump and vastly increase the chance of him getting re-elected? Anyone care to explain the Democrat gambit? I mean, they must have assumed they could successfully depose the duly elected POTUS when they started this ball rolling, so what am I missing?

77 comments to Trump’s predictable triumph…

  • I think you’re making an incorrect assumption: that the Democrats actually thought it through that much. In reality, they’ve been driven so insane by Trump’s apostasy (remember that he’s a billionaire Democrat from New York who had the gall to run as a Republican and beat the DNC-annointed billionaire Democrat from New York who was supposed to win) that they are entirely incapable of thinking rationally. They’ve been calling for his impeachment from the moment the popular vote was held, even before he was actually elected by the Electoral College, to say nothing of actually being inaugurated.

    I wouldn’t be at all surprised if they just try again after his inevitable victory in the next election.

  • SB

    The Democrats used the impeachment process for a number of reasons. In no particular order…

    One, to generate continuous negative media coverage, fueled by carefully placed leaks insinuating Trump’s guilt, to erode support among casual observers.

    Two, use the investigative process to uncover potentially damaging opposition research for the upcoming election.

    Three, provide a counter-narrative to Trump’s numerous successes in domestic and foreign policy.

    Four, placate the most ardent anti-Trumpers in their party to whom they had promised impeachment for approximately three years.

    Five, attempt to force Republican Representatives and Senators into (by their metric) politically tough votes.

    Six, gin up outrage and fundraise from their base of support.

    Seven, insulate themselves from potential criminal investigations into Ukraine (i.e. any investigation is a political payback and unwarranted). You get the idea.

    In the end, with the Democrats, any allegation of wrongdoing they make is always a case of projection. They assume President Trump is guilty of the things they accuse him because they would have done those things if they were in his place.

  • Tim the Coder

    The only rational explanation I can see is that they thought there were enough “Never Trumper” RINOs to vote with the Democrats. They managed 1.
    It seems unreasonable to suppose the whole thing was orchestrated by the Donald to demonstrate the Democratic incompetence. As Iowa has shown, why bother? 🙂

  • Giles

    Lionel Shriver said at a thing I was at a while back that she thought their aim might be to drag it out so that it was still underway during the campaign. If that’s correct, it wasn’t a crazy strategy, but it doesn’t seem to have gone according to plan…

  • They assume President Trump is guilty of the things they accuse him because they would have done those things if they were in his place.

    And in this case, because they (or at least, Joe Biden) literally did do exactly what they accused Trump of.

  • TimRules

    With a few exceptions, they could not be so deluded as to think that impeachment would result in Trump’s removal: it was an effort to score political points and engage/motivate their base (much of which did not turn out for the 2016 election …).

    It looks like it helped the Republicans as much as it helped themselves, and possibly more.

  • Agammamon

    These people live in their own world. And they truly believe that, after Obama, they would have the reins of power forever. Because even a different Republican President would have at least been on board with their ‘ever larger government’ agenda and comfortable with letting the civil servants do what they wanted.

    So when Trump got the nomination they freaked. When he got elected they lost their minds. All this was simply a reality check for them. Which they seem to be ignoring. But that’s Progressives for you. These people don’t live in this world.

  • Agammamon

    Keep in mind that Pelosi didn’t want this. She was drug in by the new extremist mainstream of the DNC.

  • Alan

    Perhaps it was a way to remove Biden as a contender by accusing Trump of doing what Biden did, to draw the spotlight onto him [Biden] and his son so he resigns under public pressure. Once Biden withdraws, the way is open for HRC to step in as the saviour of the democrats from the excess of Sanders. Or they were just utterly incompetent.

  • Fraser Orr

    +1 @SB. They have it about right.

    I don’t think they expected to actually remove him from office (not the adults anyway, the crazy loons probably did), but they did think they could dirty him up a lot and damage his chances toward re-election.

  • Gene

    Following up Agamemnon’s comment, I’m starting to see the phrase, “the Corbynization of the Democratic Party” show up more and more often. Hyperbole? Yes. Kernel of truth to it? Yes.

  • Flubber

    the Corbynization of the Democratic Party”

    Well you have the same issue of Leftist Jews cosying up to Anti-Semitic Muslim extremists, united (temporarily) in their hatred of whitey.

  • knocko

    I agree Pelosi was pushed into it. She had a cr@p sandwich, but this is for what she signed up. Once the decision was made to impeach she had to go forward no matter how poor her chances. And while she had little chance of removal it was not zero chance. Her best strategy was to get it to the Senate and then delay the reckoning. If she had been able to get witnesses and call for more documents the trial could have been on for months. After endless bad press maybe some of Trump’s 2020 voters would reconsider, maybe more than Mitt could be peeled away. Several months stoppage of the Senate’s confirmation of new federal judges would itself be a huge win. Should another Supreme Court vacancy arise during a trial a divided Republican party would be unable to stop the trial confirm Trump’s pick.

  • mongoose

    It was two things:

    1) Election nullification began the first day. Accuse, smear and damage so that the effective operation of the Executive is impossible. (They perhaps forgot that he who governs least, governs best.)

    2) The eternal US trap of law and more law and then finding some error in defence that can be called crime. Kafka did all this some years ago.

    There is a general problem with what I will call “the Left” in that they are transfixed by what they see as apostasy. It is a creed, a religion. They think themselves morally superior. And they are not, and now they begin to peek beneath the veil. The cognitive dissonance has certainly shredded Pelosi.

  • James D. Huggins

    IMHO it was a combination of:
    “Virtue” signalling, because their hardcore left base was demanding it:
    (Hey if he’s really as evil as you say, why aren’t you doing everything humanly possible towards impeaching and removing him, even if success is not certain?)…

    … and the profound visceral hatred of the man who dared to not only oppose but beat (even if by means of the Filthy cheating unfair Electoral College) It was Her Turn, by all that was Unholy…

    …and one more element…
    They want to try their best to harrass him into resigning, as a warning to all other potential future outsider candidates who might think they can come in and take over THEIR Swamp…

    Try to Shame them, the whole Trump family, ….embarrass them, make their lives miserable and try to persuade them that they will be pariahs, lepers and outcasts to the ninth generation of their children’s children’s children…so no other “Other” person not born and bred to the DC Elite, will ever attempt such effrontery again. Silence any individual who might be foolhardy enough to think the Bureaucracy and the Intell Community and the rest of the DC Swamp would let them into their “Game.”

  • That is actually a pretty good bit of analysis, Knocko.

  • knocko

    PdH: Thanks, but now that you have encouraged me I will not shut up.
    “the nakedly political nature of the whole thing” is a great feature. The media, mandarin class, elected class, military and intelligence bureaucracy have all hated Trump and refused to accept the voter’s choice. Better to have a political impeachment option handy than have the mob resort to nullification or coup.
    The best part is the political reckoning that may follow in November’s election. The Republicans are currently on a roll but have a sketchy history of seeking defeat. Remember Mitt was their standard bearer before Trump.

  • Bowser

    I’ve heard the notion that the Dems have figured for a while that Trump will be re-elected, so this was more about keeping the House and trying to flip the Senate.

  • mikee

    A Texan here. The impeachment was orchestrated by the Democrats for several purposes. Primarily, they absolutely had to have an impeachment before the elections to fulfill their vows to do so, which have been hanging fire since 2016. Next, it might have worked, who knows? And Pence was as dirty as Trump in this case, meaning he, too, could be removed from office, leaving Speaker Pelosi as President. That Trump and Pence were not at all dirty in reality did not factor into this, they were both impeachable under the ludicrous concept that exposing the corrupt practices of others is a violation of presidential duty. Finally, after the sham investigation in the House, asking the Senate to continue the investigation during the trial allowed blame to be placed on Republican Senators for the failure of impeachment – rather than on the inept Dems who created this debacle from whole cloth.

  • Agammamon

    And Pence was as dirty as Trump in this case, meaning he, too, could be removed from office,

    Not really before the next election at the end of this year. To remove him would require another ‘investigation’ by the House followed by another Senate trial.

    Some things would have been greased with a Trump removal, but there would be others that would be digging their heels in to oppose an immediate second impeachment.

  • bobby b

    Had 2/3 of the Senate voted to impeach, it would have been interesting to watch the Democrats seethe as Trump won the election this November by an even bigger margin.

  • William H. Stoddard

    Giles: “their aim might be to drag it out so that it was still underway during the campaign” has a possible flaw as a strategy: it compels three of the five leading nominees on the Democratic side (Klobuchar, Sanders, and Warren) to spend a lot of hours sitting in the Senate for the impeachment proceedings rather than campaigning. Of course, you could assume that this was a cunning plan to kneecap Sanders and Warren, who may frighten away a lot of voters who might think “Oh, he doesn’t really mean that” when Biden proposes the same policies. But I don’t know if I’d credit the Democrats with that much cunning.

    I would note, by the way, that if we’re talking about conflicts of interest as being an issue with Trump’s actions, what are we to say about those three Senators voting to convict? If they had any integrity they would have recused themselves rather than vote against a man they were running against. If they didn’t have to do that then there wasn’t anything wrong with Trump inquiring into Biden’s crimes either.

  • Eric

    Pelosi didn’t want impeachment, and she fought it as long as she could. But the rank and file Democrat really, really wanted impeachment, and if she hadn’t gone ahead with it she would have lost her position in Congress.

    They used impeachment hearings as an excuse to go on a fishing expedition into the Trump campaign and administration. There was always a chance they would find a smoking gun, so it wasn’t a completely stupid gamble. They can probably limit the damage, too, by accusing the Republicans of lock-step party line voting.

  • Ferox

    Being here on the ground in a deeply blue state, I doubt that the Democrats have correctly anticipated the results of their efforts.

    The right-wing and libertarians I know (including myself) are energized and regard Trump as a much-needed fighter, even when they disagree with some of his policies. Their (and my) support for him is stronger than I have ever seen it before.

    And the left-leaning folks I know are demoralized, not by the failure of the Democrats to remove Trump from office, but by the nakedly underhanded tactics they have employed, and by their childish, churlish, and blatantly dishonest statements and actions in pursuit of their vendetta. I know at least one man who loathes Trump but who was embarrassed into a bewildered silence by Pelosi’s tantrum at the end of the State of the Union address.

    Predicting the future is a dangerous business, but if I was forced to place money down I would wager that we are going to see, in November, an electoral sweep on a par with the one you have recently witnessed on your side of the waters.

  • Patrick

    The Dems are running on empty.
    They lost the election – deservedly. They spied on candidate Trump using the DoJ and FBI / CIA to help. Serious crimes were committed. From day 1 of his presidency they have been desperate to get him out. They know he’ll see through the investigation and prosecution of their crimes. When Durham has finished his investigation the shit is going to hit the fan for the Dems in a way not seen since Watergate. Hence the Russia hoax, the Ukraine hoax and all the rest of it.
    Meanwhile they are going crazy. They’ve gone full Corbyn. They have no candidate for 2020. Their key players are batshit socialist, PC, woke nutjobs. Middle America is waking up to the true nature of the Dems. Especially the ones who live in cities and towns controlled by them. Shit and needles on the streets. Your job getting banned. etc. etc. The Dems are like LAbour. They deserve to stay in opposition in perpetuity unless and until they change profoundly.

  • bobby b

    I bet if you could read all of the big White Movement websites in Russia from back in 1917, they’d sound just like we do here.

    The Reds were batshit crazy, ideological berserkers, unwilling to compromise on anything, seeking to change the entire world to their death cult. Put down some of their most rabid leaders and they’ll all go away. They’re losing, how could anyone support such idiots, etc.

    And then they won. Scares me sometimes.

  • Ferox

    bobby b – the main difference being that we have the excellent example of Russia in the 20th century which we may use as a reference …

    And China …
    And Cambodia …
    And Venezuela …
    And Romania …

  • William H. Stoddard

    Eric: On reflection, I think you are right about Pelosi. Her actions really don’t make much sense as tactics, let alone strategy. But there’s a passage in one of the Miles Vorkosigan novels where a character says that leadership often means seeing which way the people are going and getting in front. Pelosi had a lot of Democratic members of the House going for impeachment; she had to get in front. She was holding onto that tiger’s ears for all she was worth.

    Either that, or she had an incredibly cunning plan whose endgame is still to come. The old monster has been a shrewd manipulator for many years. But I can’t imagine what it might be.

  • Bruce Abbott

    One explanation that makes sense to me is that the DNC wants to retake the Senate to stop the president from remaking the Judiciary. My Maine Senator Susan Collins is up for reelection this year, and out-of-state money is pouring in from dark-money groups like Maine Momentum, hoping to pay her back for her Kavanaugh vote and give Chuck Schumer that seat. I don’t think it will work, since we Mainers don’t like outside interference in our politics; we just fought off a big-money attempt by Mike Bloomberg to institute gun registration, mis-characterized as universal background checks, here. I’ve spoken with Susan Collins a number of times (I was one of the delegates at the Republican Straw poll the night Yitzhak Rabin was shot in 1995, and Collins was behind me in the voting line. She had just lost the nomination for Governor, and I, along with everyone else, encouraged her to go for the Senate seat that George Mitchell was vacating.) She’s the real deal.

  • bob sykes

    There was never a chance the Democrats could have gotten the 67 votes needed for removal. But there are enough idiot Rinos that they might have gotten a bare majority, say 51 to 53 votes, and that would have been a huge embarrassment for Trump. It might have shut down his Presidency and cost him the upcoming election.

  • Snorri Godhi

    I agree with Perry that Knocko has provided perhaps the best analysis; although other comments contains some of the same, or additional, ideas as to motivation.

    Let me fisk Knocko’s comment:

    Pelosi was pushed into it.

    Yes, and that highlights the mistake of assuming that Democrats think in lockstep.

    It was a stroke of genius for Trump to give Twitter support to Pelosi when the Squad attacked her: now Pelosi cannot antagonize the Squad for fear that Trump will support her. Although the media are probably more responsible than the Squad for this debacle.

    Once the decision was made to impeach she had to go forward no matter how poor her chances.

    She could have done a better job of preserving the appearance of a fair trial, though.

    Also, withholding the Articles was an own goal. But perhaps she was just trying to postpone the evil hour, or trying to time it so as to keep Bernie away from Iowa and New Hampshire.

    And while she had little chance of removal it was not zero chance.

    Looking from outside DC, the chance seemed so close to zero as to make no difference. Looking from inside DC, i don’t know. And looking with the mind of a Squad member, the chance must have seemed very good indeed.

    Her best strategy was to get it to the Senate and then delay the reckoning.
    […]
    Several months stoppage of the Senate’s confirmation of new federal judges would itself be a huge win. Should another Supreme Court vacancy arise during a trial a divided Republican party would be unable to stop the trial confirm Trump’s pick.

    This is very likely to have been a consideration.

    The main thing missing from Knocko’s analysis seems to be the Democrats’ expectations as to the impact that impeachment will have on the election.
    Some Democrats seem delusional enough to think that impeachment might win them the White House.
    OTOH it is not delusional, but still a risky strategy to think that it might win/save them a few seats in the Senate or House.

  • Mr Ed

    Well I think I know how Mitt Romney would be rewarded by the Democrats for his stand, if they had the House, Senate, Presidency and USSC.

  • staghounds

    FEROX:

    And yet the only historical example the mass media ever mentions is Nazi Germany.

  • Gene

    Bobby B:

    The Reds were batshit crazy, ideological berserkers, unwilling to compromise on anything, seeking to change the entire world to their death cult. Put down some of their most rabid leaders and they’ll all go away. They’re losing, how could anyone support such idiots, etc.

    And then they won. Scares me sometimes.

    I know the Democratic party has its share of psychopaths, but the Bolsheviks’ psychopaths were in a WHOLE different league. And they were trying to overwhelm a population that wasn’t even 1% as well-armed as the American people.

  • BigFatFlyingBloke

    It wasn’t about getting him actually impeached through a Senate conviction (which was never going to happen) but sticking the “impeached” label on him via articles of impeachment in the house as petty revenge for having the temerity to win the election in 2016 and spending the last three years trolling the heck out of Democrats.

    Just look at videos of the whooping and hollering that took place when it passed in Congress, it was not the emotions of a group of people making a calculated political move it was the emotions of a group of people getting revenge.

  • staghounds

    It has been a loooooong time since Nancy Pelosi has been forced, pushed, or dragged into anything.

  • Nullius in Verba

    I’ve long considered the entire sequence of events to be a long-term strategy to prevent the first four years being taken up by the public investigation and prosecution of Democrat crimes under Obama. Partly it’s an application of the idea that “Attack is the best form of defence”, so Trump’s side has to devote all their energy and attention to defending themselves, and thus less on digging in to the past, and partly it’s about tiring the public out with the drama of high crimes and misdemeanors – to make such accusations so routine and commonplace as to become boring. It even pushes the Republicans, in defending themselves, into setting up arguments and setting precedents that favour the defence, so that when Democrats are challenged on the same crimes, they have those defensive precedents and a high bar for the standard of evidence already in place.

    It’s all designed to delay and minimise the impact of investigations into Democrat scandals, and soak up the media’s capacity for drama. It was actually a media strategy of Obama’s that some had noted – when there was some bad news or scandal about to go public, Obama would make some outrageously controversial statement or proposal, which would trigger Republicans into a five day frenzy of denunciations and objections, sucking up all the oxygen of publicity, and by the time it was over, the bad news was history, last week’s news. This is the same sort of thing. The media has been full of all this Russia shit for three years, with the Republicans spending all their time denouncing it. Not only are they constantly on the defensive, but they’re constantly talking about Republican scandals, not Democrat ones. It blunts the impact.

    I’m sure their hope was that the impeachment could have been drawn out for months, with a long sequence of new revelations and scandals precisely timed to hit every few days (just as the previous one falls apart) to keep the pot boiling, in the same way the Kavanaugh hearings were. It was never intended to succeed – it was intended to distract attention, to occupy resources, to batter down the resistance, and to drag anyone who opposed them through such a whirlwind of crap that people would give up, or avoid joining the fight, just to avoid the unpleasantness of having this sort of mud continually thrown at them. It doesn’t even have to stick for that to be an emotionally exhausting ordeal.

    Considering the weakness and vulnerability of the hand they dealt themselves, it’s been an extraordinarily successful strategy. Don’t think about the fact they lost the vote. Think about the fact they tied up the media’s and government’s attention for months on this nonsense, instead of Hillary’s emails, or Benghazi, or Uranium One, or lying to the FISA court, or Burisma. It’s brilliant.

  • Ellen

    I haven’t the faintest idea what the Left was thinking. (Republican and Democrat just don’t seem to cover it). The left, for some while, was claiming to live in a reality-based consensus. I think, rather, they live in a consensus-based reality. I don’t live there, and don’t speak the language.

    I do know the hard left would make life Hell for any squishy leftists that tried to calm them down. There are few things the Left hates more than infidels, but heretics are even worse.

  • Mary Contrary

    Perry writes that Knocko has it right. And it’s a good point, but James D. Huggins’ very different analysis is very good too. If you can’t remove him, shame him, destroy him, shame everyone around him so nobody would dare attempt to repeat what he has done, or be associated with anyone who has.

    It has worked up to now. It is still working, up and down the land, in Britain as well as America. Anyone who works for a company of more than fifty people knows this, never mind anyone working in the public sector. We are all bullied and shamed into silence, by those who claim moral superiority but who in truth have no morals, and weaponise ours against us.

    But Trump has no shame, and so is immune, and triumphs. His lack of shame is their kryptonite. And this is why I, who in 2015 said “Never Trump”, will gleefully cheer his inevitable re-election.

  • Ferox

    Staghounds: and yet they forget to EVER mention that Nazi Germany was a socialist state, or else pretend that it was not socialist at all …

  • Nico

    @William H. Stoddard:

    The cunning plan has been -for years now- that the dems set a trap and Trump falls into it.

    That’s it.

    And if you think about it, why the $%@^&! shouldn’t it work? Trump is a neophyte at government. He might not recognize a trap. And the Valerie Plame affair -clearly a dem/CIA trap- did net a scalp, and could, with some luck, have netted a bigger one (e.g., Cheney).

    I’ve seen speculation that Watergate was a trap. I suppose it could have been, but it’s also true that Nixon did direct some break-ins, so it’s most likely that Watergate was not a trap but! taught the dems that setting a trap like it was a possibility.

    The only problem is that Trump refuses to fall in the traps they tend for him. The whole thing has turned into a comedic Wile E. Coyote dems vs. road runner Trump. You’ve seen such memes, I’m sure.

    Each trap had some way that Trump could have trivially fallen in. For example, the Russia trap would have worked had Trump fired Mueller or provided testimony and fallen into a perjury trap. And the impeachment trap would have worked had Trump cooperated enough with the House investigation as to fall into a perjury trap. Keep in mind, it’s absolutely impossible to provide testimony and not commit perjury when the prosecutor is determined to convict for process crimes.

    Was the hope that Trump might fall in the traps reasonable? Well, knowing what we know now, the answer is “no”. And it was obvious to all that the answer was “no” after the Mueller debacle. But impeachment was the only plan C that the dems had, they had promised the base as much, and had been dreaming of it. It’s like a great mating line in a chess game that could work if only -if only!- your opponent didn’t see it and you were one half a move faster (but are not).

    Someone (NiV?) a while back suggested that a better chess analogy is that Trump has a mate in seven moves, and the dems are down to sacrificing material in the hope that Trump blunders. This fits. The dems are down to sacrificing their House majority and the Presidential election, but might just be able to get a Senate majority that they could then use to slow down the President’s judicial nomination/confirmation juggernaut — this might work, but ironically Pierre Delecto’s defection endangers one Democrat Senator, while Trump should be able to shore up the Republican Senators weakened by Delecto’s betrayal.

  • bobby b

    Yeah, I’d vote for this one. ^

  • Lee Moore

    I would add to the several good answers – the Guns of August theory.

    Having built a big fat hairy Army, the Kaiser could not resist the temptation to use it while it was in peak condition.

    And the Dems had built their impeachment war machine very thoroughly from Day 1. As soon as they retook the House they changed all the House rules to fit the Schiff-in-the-Cellar routine that they used nine months later. It was no spur of the minute thing.

    I take Nancy’s earlier protestations that she didn’t want to impeach with a ladle of salt. She would say that…..until she found something so shocking that she had a constitutional duty to act. And so, using the vast army of Obama embeds, they just wait until there’s something they can colour up, with the help of the press, and it’s light the blue touch paper time !

    I say they wanted to impeach all along and were just waiting for the right excuse. But why did they want to impeach all along ? At this point my analysis rejoins everybody else’s. Because they thought it would be politically good for them. And they came within a couple of senators of tying up the Senate for ages in chaos and Trump-damaging tittle tattle. The Rs “control” the Senate so the chaos would belong to the Rs. Remember their clever lawyers deliberately chose to have the impeachment structured with faux non legally binding “subpoenas.” Precisely so the witness problem could be sicced on the Republican Senate.

    I don’t believe the Ds bought into the post Clinton theory that impeachment inflicts damage on the impeachers. I think they thought (and I’m inclined to agree) that the media have a big say in the political optics of impeachment.

    So they planned it all along. They thought they would win from it politically.

    But as we saw when Jerry the Penguin muscled Schiff out of his closing argument, having a plan and successfully implementing it are not the same thing.

    PS which reminds me, on the subject of implementing plans and maverick gloryhunters, how did General Mark Clark avoid getting shot for deciding to occupy Rome, when his orders were to march straight past ? His grandstanding cost several thousand soldiers lives as the Germans were given time to retreat in good order.

  • Nico

    @Lee Moore:

    Oh, very good analogy, the Guns of August.

    But why did they want to impeach all along?

    That one’s easy: because they always want to get rid of effective Rs, and because it’s become a thing Ds do. They succeeded with Nixon. They couldn’t get Reagan, but tried. (They also tried to get Ford but failed.) The Bushes weren’t effective Rs and weren’t worth impeaching, and still they tried!

    I take Nancy’s earlier protestations that she didn’t want to impeach with a ladle of salt. She would say that…..until she found something so shocking that she had a constitutional duty to act. …

    That’s a problem they had, and knew they would have: Trump wouldn’t likely commit any shocking High Crimes and Misdemeanors. That meant ginning something up, no matter how flimsy the charges. And it meant they couldn’t wait too long for the right thing to turn into a scandal. They were pressed for time, and they were at the mercy of the NSC crew (Vindman et. al.) and what they might be able to cook up given so little time.

    This fits with the Guns of August analogy: they prepped for Impeachment based on as of then not-yet-committed High Crimes and Misdemeanors. Once they were locked and loaded…

    I don’t believe the Ds bought into the post Clinton theory that impeachment inflicts damage on the impeachers. I think they thought (and I’m inclined to agree) that the media have a big say in the political optics of impeachment.

    But of course! The American mainstream media is mostly an arm of the Demoractic Party. They try real hard to tell people what to think, and sometimes even succeed. The midterms were a case in point, where the Kavanaugh circus really hurt the dems, but they made it up on Russia/Mueller and the MAGAbomber, which the media dutifully used to make R voters stay home and D voters come out. But this doesn’t work as well in a general election, as we know from 2016.

    In my theory this is just something they do. In yours this is something they prepped for and, having prepped, had no choice but to follow through. Of course, these are compatible theories.

    One thing is different though, between the Trump case and the Nixon/Ford/Reagan/Bush/Bush cases: the level of dem derangement in the Trump case far exceeds all the others — even the Nixon case. And they were quite deranged in the Nixon years! This tells you something: Trump represents a bigger threat to the dems than the others ever did. Specifically, Trump is opening the right side of the Overton window by and while demonstrating that lefty policies are a disaster and his policies monumental successes. Trump is threatening to upend the dem base of support, possibly for many years. The only thing worse for them than Trump winning in 2016 is Trump winning in 2020, and the only thing worse than that would a successor winning in 2024 who is anywhere close to 50% as effective as Trump, which would then risk such a long stretch of destruction of leftist reputation that they might never recover. And if Trump must win re-election, then the dems must make him instantly a lame duck.

    Now, I don’t want to be too optimistic: there’s bound to be some trouble at some point, enough with which the dems might blunt the whole move to the right, and then place the U.S. solidly back on the path to socialism. But the fact that Trump has not fallen into a single trap set for him gives me hope. After his victory speech I expect him to fight for a massive victory in 2020 (and the other Rs are now of necessity committed to the same just by having thrown their lot with his). It’s time to start thinking about thinking about 2024. And if he should lose re-election? Maybe this time the Rs should treat the dems like the dems treat the Rs.

  • Nico

    Bobby B:

    The Reds were batshit crazy, ideological berserkers, unwilling to compromise on anything, seeking to change the entire world to their death cult. Put down some of their most rabid leaders and they’ll all go away. They’re losing, how could anyone support such idiots, etc.

    And then they won. Scares me sometimes.

    I know the Democratic party has its share of psychopaths, but the Bolsheviks’ psychopaths were in a WHOLE different league. And they were trying to overwhelm a population that wasn’t even 1% as well-armed as the American people.

    I too get scared. I don’t believe that our dem psychopaths are less dangerous or psychopathic than the Bolshies. Instead, I believe our dem psychopaths know they need to cook the frog slowly precisely because they could not impose a 1917-style revolution on a country like the U.S., where it’s not enough to win the capital and a couple of other big cities, and where the population is indeed so well-armed. To cook the frog slowly, you have to control the psychopathy, and take your time to let it out.

    Have you not noticed? As they move the Overton window left, they get crazier. That’s how you know there’s a lot of crazy left to get out in the open. And lately the raw hatred and calls for specific and generalized violence have begun to reach alarming levels.

    No, we assume these clowns are less bad than the bolshies at our own risk.

  • Alsadius

    There’s two basic considerations I can see.

    1) There does exist behaviour bad enough for him to lose the backing of the Republican Party and all. Or at least, I sure hope that exists. The GOP rallied behind Nixon at first too, but as Watergate went on, they eventually broke ranks when it became clear that his behaviour was really bad, and the public was abandoning him. The Democrats thought they might finally have that, which is why they pulled the trigger on impeachment this time (but didn’t after Mueller).

    2) The Democrat base hates Trump with the burning passion of a thousand fiery suns, and wants to go after him. The Democrat leadership can only resist so much of this pressure. Heck, I wouldn’t totally rule out the possibility that this involved a bit of malicious compliance on Pelosi’s part – “I wanted to just focus on the election, but no, you all wanted to impeach him. Let’s see how that works for you, shall we?”. But even without that, it’s important for being able to lead the party. Anyone who is insufficiently opposed to Trump will get the Romney treatment sooner or later. (I suspect this is also why she tore up his speech – it was a fast and low-cost way to signal her allegiances to her base)

  • Dr Evil

    It was blind hatred of the man and the emotion got in the way of rationality. You cannot impeach someone just because you don’t like him. They seized on the flimsiest of reasons to go for him and because it was flimsy it blew up in their faces. The Democrats are as stupid as UK Labour. That Pelosi woman wants getting rid of from being speaker in Congress. How childish ripping up President Trump’s speech.

  • Pat

    The Dems might reasonably have hoped for an extended Senate trial, with endless witnesses, which would have slowed or stopped the appointment of judges, and also cemented their core support.
    Overall they are behaving like a party that thinks it can’t win this time so is preserving its core vote and clearing out the dead wood in hopes of better luck in 2024.

  • Longshan

    From the American South: The last four years in American politics have witnessed the political elite and government bureaucracy reject an election result of which they disapproved. The parallel with the Brexit fight in Britain has been fascinating to watch. Impeachment was the latest attempt by the self-annointed elite and the bureauracy to undo the 2016 presidential election or affect the next election or both. Because of the Electoral College, American presidential elections are decided state by state, not nationally. Most states award electoral votes on a winner-take-all (first pass the post) basis. With the two parties roughly balanced in the Electoral College, voters in a few swing states determine the winner in the Electoral College. Independent voters determine who wins any given swing state. Perhaps the Democrats thought impeachment would weaken the president politically for the upcoming election, even if (when) the Senate did not convict him, by influencing independent voters in the swing states in the upcoming election not to vote Republican. The Democrats appear to have miscalculated, much like the Liberal Democrats miscalculated last fall in supporting a general parliamentary election.

  • Ferox, February 7, 2020 at 8:46 am: Being here on the ground in a deeply blue state, I doubt that the Democrats have correctly anticipated the results of their efforts. …

    Ellen, February 7, 2020 at 8:02 pm: … they live in a consensus-based reality … the hard left would make life Hell for any squishy leftists that tried to calm them down. There are few things the Left hates more than infidels, but heretics are even worse.

    In my book, it is a compliment to be compared to Hannah Arendt, even when compared to her occasional errors. I invite NiV to take it so when I suggest that, as Hannah could sometimes do, Nullius in Verba (February 7, 2020 at 5:41 pm) overthinks things and overemphasises coordination and forethought when saying “everything was designed” for the defensive ends discussed in that comment. That discussion has content: instapundit and others noted in early 2017 that Mueller was both a reuse of the justifications with which they spied on Trump before the election and a way of deflecting investigation of those corrupt acts. However every upside noted by Nullius has a downside. It puts it in the public domain as an issue to solve one way or another without needing nearly so much republican effort. It motivates Trump by making it political life and death, and thus also provides public justification for harsh retaliation. It motivates republicans, including even the smaller-scale non-whole-hog rinos (the Kavanaugh thing was great for justifying the “they’ll come for you, not just me” idea). It is always better politics to be the retaliator. So I read the second push after Mueller failed as containing significantly more fear insofar as it had any of the rationality Nullius discusses.

    I think Ellen gives a good explanation of how the situation Ferox describes was not foreseen. Perry notes the outcome was obvious – but saying it was ‘obvious’ would get you summarily expelled from any group that wanted to do it, which is why I suspect neither Perry’s easily-foreseen objections nor the rational discussion of Nullius were ever properly thrashed out in a group large enough to plan, control and moderate the direction of this.

    The value of cognitive diversity and cost of its lack is once again demonstrated.

  • Nullius in Verba

    “However every upside noted by Nullius has a downside.”

    Of course. This isn’t the position the Dems wanted to be in. It’s damage limitation in the face of impending disaster. As Nico recalls, it’s like Trump has a mate in seven moves, and the Dems are down to sacrificing material in the hope that Trump blunders. This wasn’t Plan A – which was that Hillary was obviously going to win, and with her hands on the levers of power everything would be fine – it was an ‘insurance policy’ cooked up in the last months before the election.

    During the Obama years the Dems had cheerfully continued their long-term project to politicize and weaponize the bureaucracy and justice system, and they used that to shield their own corrupt behaviour from official scrutiny. They stacked up a whole ossuary of skeletons in various closets all over Washington. You just have to consider the email server thing going on during the election run-up. If any ordinary office worker had done that, they’d be fired and likely in jail. Even the reasons for doing it, to avoid government rules on transparency and record retention, would have been political dynamite. But Slick Willy went and had a quiet word with the Attorney General on a plane, and it all went away.

    Their long-term strategic error was relying too much on that influence, assuming that their immunity would continue indefinitely. The Establishment Republicans were no threat. They didn’t have the fanatical backing Hillary did. And anyway, most of them were career politicians who talked-the-talk to get the votes, but in practice were barely distinguishable from the Democrats. And as career politicians, knew very well not to break anyone else’s rice bowl, knowing they were just as vulnerable. Career politicians try desperately to avoid any hint of controversy, they have to police their speech more rigorously than most, knowing how any innocent slip could open them to political destruction, and the Dems knew they had the greater control over the speech code. Everything was on track.

    But then, out of nowhere, Trump appeared. Initially he was seen as a joke. But then when it became clear that he was being taken seriously by a lot of angry, frustrated voters, that’s when the alarm bells started ringing. He wasn’t part of the cosy Establishment. He didn’t comply with the bipartisan omerta about corruption. He had no fear of controversy, and when attacked he just attacked back. He didn’t follow their rules. And suddenly, all those skeletons in closets had turned into massive sweaty-dynamite land mines. If Trump won, it would be a disaster.

    Understand, this is not just about the Dems being sore about losing the election, and having a crass Republican in the White House. Their outright panic is born of an existential threat. He could wreck the entire machine. They could do jail time. Billion-dollar funding streams could get cut off. This is serious!

    Given the situation they’re in, there is no good plan. A number of the scandals are already known about – they’re relying entirely on their control of the government and the media to keep the consequences suppressed. So they can’t stop it coming out, and they can’t stop a Trump Whitehouse from digging into them entirely. They’re going to come out, so the question is how they minimise the damage when they do.

    Certainly the situation is far from ideal from their point of view. Certainly there are ‘downsides’. But it’s better than the alternative, which would be to have something like the Mueller investigation being directed at Hillary and Biden and Obama for four years. And then probably for another four years after that. Digging out the Deep State. Draining the Swamp. They have no good options. They have no leverage against Trump, no dirt, no vulnerabilities to exploit. He’s bulletproof against all their usual methods. And the plan had to be developed in a hurry. But considering the disastrous position they started from, the distraction and delay has succeeded brilliantly.

    Life’s but a walking shadow, a poor player,
    That struts and frets his hour upon the stage,
    And then is heard no more. It is a tale
    Told by an idiot, full of sound and fury,
    Signifying nothing.

  • Nico

    @NiV:

    Their outright panic is born of an existential threat. He could wreck the entire machine. They could do jail time. Billion-dollar funding streams could get cut off. This is serious!

    I suspect if they had conceded the election and allowed Trump to govern (i.e., not sprung the Russia thing, not trapped Flynn, not gotten Mueller appointed, all of that), Trump might not have found and gone after all their corruption just on account of being busy enough with governing. Hillary! probably would not have gone to prison.

    That’s just not how the dems roll. And it was not a risk they could afford to take. They’ve done this sort of thing to different degrees to every Republican President since Eisenhower.

    They thought Trump was a clown, a dummy, innocent/childish. He would surely fall in their traps.

    The dem leadership also consists of a bunch of village idiots. Biden principally, but many of the others as well, including Pelosi.

  • Nico (February 8, 2020 at 5:34 pm), I agree that doing nothing might have been wiser – just ranting about how racist the travel ban (and everything else) was and etc., while waiting for the 2020 election and treating Trump’s complaints about the 2016 spying on him as aggressive, exaggerated and petty (and, of course, lying) on his part.

    However laissez-faire is very counter to left-wing thought. Also, for everyone who was thinking to a degree calculatedly along the lines Nullius discusses, there were thousands of followers having hysterics of Trump derangement syndrome and demanding he be removed “as soon as possible” (to quote the no-waiting-5-years-for-an-election hint, hint phrase that was very popular with the left about Margaret Thatcher in her first term).

    So it would have been hard to prevent any early removal strategy from becoming the chosen strategy. It would have been impossible to back away from any strategy of early removal once started until it was externally terminated. (Between election and inauguration they floating corrupting electoral delegates and suchlike.) So I doubt they had much choice about the repurposing of their excuses for spying on Trump even if they had wanted.

    For example, the BBC marked Trump’s inauguration with a new Washington/London-based news series titled ‘100 days’ – because of course Trump was such an absurdity that his presidency was sure to be in tatters and maybe ended within that time. The beeb renamed it to ‘Beyond 100 Days’ quite some time after the original title had gone out of date. It continues to air (but now only on BBC 4 domestically) even though it is overdue for retitling to ‘Beyond 1000 days’.

  • There is no short answer, really, but the sound bite is as follows.

    The Democratic Party is so far around the bend, they can’t see it in the rear-view mirror.

    After the 2016 election, when Democrats everywhere were marching around screaming “Not my President!” (he had only been elected at that point, so technically they were right) and since it became clear that Trump Derangement Syndrome is a real thing.

    There are Democrats who had Robert Mueller’s likeness tattooed, because they were convinced that if they screamed about Russia enough, it would come true. Then there was Ukraine, and they wanted the fact that the US gives out foreign aid in order to convince foreign governments to do things we want them to do, and to stop doing things we don’t want them to do, to somehow constitute an abuse of power.

    Oh, and they are completely divorced from reality. They hate Trump, the NRA, Republicans, Christians, etc. and they want to believe that the vast majority agrees with them. If you disagree with them about anything like policy, rights, responsibility, then you are RACIST and must be destroyed.

    Then there is what is affectionately called The Deep State. They (like the bureaucrats in the EU) don’t think that elections should mean anything. They think that they are the natural ruling class and the masses should just accept the dictates of that ruling class. The election of Trump was not something that the bureaucrats approved of, so of course it had to be undone. By any means necessary. Falsified warrants, spying, planted evidence. Whatever they did was “OK” because they were the anointed class. Very much like the EU ignoring the (negative) outcome of various referendums.

  • In case you don’t remember the meltdown, here’s a video from Paul Joseph Watson from November of 2016. (Probably not safe for work, because of the F-bombs dropped by some on the Left.)

  • bobby b

    “Then there is what is affectionately called The Deep State. They (like the bureaucrats in the EU) don’t think that elections should mean anything. . . Whatever they did was “OK” because they were the anointed class.”

    Democrats, meet the new Trump-chosen judicial Deep State. Hope you like it.

    /s/

    The Newly Annointed

  • lucklucky

    What you are missing is that for example the Tories would have folded with tail between their legs in same circumstances. We already seeing vast signs of Boris cretinism after Brexit. Same applies to many Republicans, imagine Romney as President. They carve media points before anything else. Trump showing he don’t folds put a spine in many Republicans.

    Another reason is that Republican voters have been crucial in showing what they want, to offset the power of Marxist Media. Trump election was already a strong example of that.

  • Rich Rostrom

    I think it was a mixture of Trump Derangement Syndrome, Trump Alarm Syndrome, confirmation bias, fishing expedition, and pot commitment (a tournament poker term I’ll explain below).

    Trump Derangement Syndrome: a large part of the Democrat base (and apparat) can’t think rationally about Trump. They are viscerally hostile, and have to act on it – including demands that their Democrat associates act too. Trump is so offensive (often in pointless or trivial ways) that TDS carriers can’t believe any sensible person can tolerate him.

    Trump Alarm Syndrome: a lot of people thought (many still think) that Trump is ignorant, impulsive, unscrupulous, and egomaniacal – that having him as President is like having chimpanzee driving a car. P.J. O’Rourke wrote in 2016 that Clinton would be bad, but “normal” bad, within established ways; Trump would be bad in new and potentially catastrophic ways. I didn’t buy that argument, but there was a point to it. This idea IMO drove a lot of the Deep State activity.

    Confirmation bias: everyone they know is anti-Trump, has TDS or TAS or both. I think that they also knew, or thought they knew, that a lot of Republicans secretly shared these views, and that if they forced the issue, these Republicans would have to “come out”.

    Fishing expedition: They thought if they poked around enough they would find a genuine “smoking gun”. Trump is fairly dirty, after all. (For instance, he bought the site of Trump Atlantic City from a “made man” in the Philly Mob, and hired another Mob guy’s construction company to build it.) Surely “something will turn up.”

    Pot commitment: in tournament poker, a player may put some of his chips into a pot, and unintentionally put himself in a position where the odds are bad, but he can’t afford to fold. That is because while he’ll still be in the tournament, he’ll have too few chips left to have any chance. So he has to go all-in with his current hand, and hope for a lucky outcome. The Democrats committed early to impeachment; by the end of the process, they couldn’t back out.

    All of these factors were in play – reinforcing each other in various ways.

  • Lee Moore

    I think confirmation bias is a useful concept. I might put it a slightly different way.

    Lefties are living in an alternate reality. I’m not claiming, for today’s purposes, that the conservative reality is a closer approximation to real reality than lefty reality – though as a matter of fact it is – merely that lefty actions that appear to be deranged when surveyed from righty reality, may appear sane when viewed from lefty reality. And vice versa.

    Thus if it’s known in lefty reality that Trump is a crook only interested in using the presidency to make money, and perfectly willing to sell his country to the Russkies for a buck, then it makes perfect sense to keep on banging that Russkie drum. A lack of hard evidence for the proposition that he’s in the pay of Putin does not refute that proposition. It just means that the evidence has been hidden deeper. Nor is there anything seriously dishonest in manufacturing false evidence – since it simply shows the public the underlying truth, and stands in the place of the evidence that has been too well hidden.

  • Snorri Godhi

    Lee Moore:

    Lefties are living in an alternate reality. I’m not claiming, for today’s purposes, that the conservative reality is a closer approximation to real reality than lefty reality – though as a matter of fact it is – merely that lefty actions that appear to be deranged when surveyed from righty reality, may appear sane when viewed from lefty reality. And vice versa.

    This principle is applicable, not just to American politics, but to … well, pretty much everything. Take the discovery that gastric ulcers are caused by a bacterium. Why did it take so long to find out? because the prevailing paradigm was that gastric ulcers are caused by stress! Looking for a bacterium makes no sense if you don’t expect to find one.

    That is why i think that The Structure of Scientific Revolutions is such an important book

    This, of course, raises the issue of how we know that “we” have a better grasp of reality than the “left”. My answer is that it is not so much a matter of how close we are to reality at a given moment, but of being willing to change our ideas when (a) evidence that contradicts them becomes available and (b) better ideas are also available. (NB: This is just a rough sketch of what our attitude should be.)

    Unfortunately Thomas Kuhn did not provide any such rules to explain why scientific revolutions occur, but he did provide a good insight: it is good that not all scientists change their minds at the same point, that some continue to work on the old paradigm while others try something new, because new ideas do not always fulfill their promise. When the new paradigm fulfills its promise, then eventually all scientists still alive will accept it.

    So there is a continuum of readiness to change one’s own mind. The curious thing is that in much of the Western world today, more often than not it is the supposed “conservatives” who have changed their minds at some stage. OTOH some (not all) “progressives” are unable to face reality to such an extent that i think their condition is fairly described as delusional insanity. (And NeverTrumpers are just as delusional.)

  • Nullius in Verba

    “This, of course, raises the issue of how we know that “we” have a better grasp of reality than the “left”.”

    There is the greatest difference between presuming an opinion to be true, because, with every opportunity for contesting it, it has not been refuted, and assuming its truth for the purpose of not permitting its refutation. Complete liberty of contradicting and disproving our opinion, is the very condition which justifies us in assuming its truth for purposes of action; and on no other terms can a being with human faculties have any rational assurance of being right.

    or

    He who knows only his own side of the case, knows little of that. His reasons may be good, and no one may have been able to refute them. But if he is equally unable to refute the reasons on the opposite side; if he does not so much as know what they are, he has no ground for preferring either opinion. The rational position for him would be suspension of judgment, and unless he contents himself with that, he is either led by authority, or adopts, like the generality of the world, the side to which he feels most inclination. Nor is it enough that he should hear the arguments of adversaries from his own teachers, presented as they state them, and accompanied by what they offer as refutations. That is not the way to do justice to the arguments, or bring them into real contact with his own mind. He must be able to hear them from persons who actually believe them; who defend them in earnest, and do their very utmost for them. He must know them in their most plausible and persuasive form; he must feel the whole force of the difficulty which the true view of the subject has to encounter and dispose of; else he will never really possess himself of the portion of truth which meets and removes that difficulty. Ninety-nine in a hundred of what are called educated men are in this condition; even of those who can argue fluently for their opinions. Their conclusion may be true, but it might be false for anything they know: they have never thrown themselves into the mental position of those who think differently from them, and considered what such persons may have to say; and consequently they do not, in any proper sense of the word, know the doctrine which they themselves profess. They do not know those parts of it which explain and justify the remainder; the considerations which show that a fact which seemingly conflicts with another is reconcilable with it, or that, of two apparently strong reasons, one and not the other ought to be preferred. All that part of the truth which turns the scale, and decides the judgment of a completely informed mind, they are strangers to; nor is it ever really known, but to those who have attended equally and impartially to both sides, and endeavoured to see the reasons of both in the strongest light. So essential is this discipline to a real understanding of moral and human subjects, that if opponents of all important truths do not exist, it is indispensable to imagine them, and supply them with the strongest arguments which the most skilful devil’s advocate can conjure up.

    Of course, the whole essay contains lots more excellent reasons. It’s essential reading for anyone with intellectual aspirations.

    But as the short excerpt above argues, you can tell how likely it is that you have a better grasp of reality by considering how willing you are to listen to and think about opposing arguments. If you give in to your instinct is to automatically dismiss them or reject them or try to drive them out or shut them up, then no, you don’t have a better grasp of reality. If you welcome opposing arguments, then you might do.

    Humans are fallible; we all have cognitive blindspots. There are holes in our perception where not only can we not see, but we cannot even perceive that there is a hole there. However, we all have different blindspots, so we can find out what is in ours by listening to someone with a different point of view.

    And then, as you say, you have to be able to change your mind if someone with a different point of view presents a more valid argument than your own. Scientific knowledge evolves by survival of the fittest ideas. Weak ideas get killed off. Ideas improve only by surviving all attempts to debunk them. The most reliable ideas are the ones that have been attacked the most strongly, and not been defeated.

    I cannot praise a fugitive and cloistered virtue, unexercised and unbreathed, that never sallies out and sees her adversary but slinks out of the race, where that immortal garland is to be run for, not without dust and heat. Assuredly we bring not innocence into the world, we bring impurity much rather; that which purifies us is trial, and trial is by what is contrary.

  • Mill’s Victorian eloquence (quoted above) much outperforms my remark above that “The value of cognitive diversity and cost of its lack is once again demonstrated.”. Mill also warned against letting any “fragments of forgotten truth be lost amid the ruins of exploded error” – which was in part another way for him to advocate for checking over even those theories one feels sure one can in general despise. Conor Cruise O’Brien, in his preface to Burke’s “Reflections on the Revolution in France” noted how revealing he found it that, while supporters of Burke had usually read quantities of Marx and/or Marx-dervived stuff and etc., he found it almost impossible to persuade lefties (such as he, I think, was earlier in his life) to see value in reading Burke. “You read him because he is intelligent and on the other side”, he would explain to the determinedly deaf ears of his friends of those days.

    Not quite the same as Mill’s remarks above is listening not to intelligent human adversaries but to reality itself. Thomas Sowell says he was first turned from the Marxist ideas of his early twenties by experience of how indifferent his socialist colleagues were to studying the success or (usually) lack thereof that their humanitarian projects had on the ground. Richard Feynman’s Caltech 1974 address on Cargo Cult Science ends with a fascinating vignette on how one researcher discovered the precautions needed when studying rats in mazes – and how almost no-one doing such work cited or used this ‘null’ result. Mill says that when you can’t find genuine opponents of your ideas you should encourage devil’s advocates but when no-one can think of arguments against there is still a reality out there – you still have your own ability to try and remember how often the effects your beliefs predicted happened – or didn’t. I don’t agree with every criticism Sowell makes of Mill but I’d agree with the suggested over-reliance on articulation.

    Lastly, I have a friend, politically to my left, who has read all of Mein Kampf. My historical reading means I could quote huge chunks of Adolf’s remarks verbatim, but I confess my agreement with Mill’s argument (that Nullius quotes above) has yet to carry me as far as her. 🙂

  • Paul Marks

    Perry – remember the “mainstream media” is controlled by the left, even the “hard news” side of Fox News is controlled by “School of Journalism” leftists.

    So it was not unreasonable for the Democrats to assume that even though their claims were absurd LIES, most people would believe them – because of the constant support of the “mainstream media”. So, the theory went, President Trump would be “convicted in the court of public opinion” and limp to defeat in November.

    What seems to have happened is that many (perhaps most) people have reacted to what the media has shown them (including that sick swine “Mitt” Romney – presented as the “good Republican”) and have reacted by saying to themselves…..

    “What the media is telling me is a PACK OF LIES”.

    Now that is correct – the media is pushing a “bit lie” and has been for years. But I would NOT have predicted that most people would react that way.

    If the people continue to react this way then even the BILLIONS of Dollars that Mr Bloomberg and the rest of the elite are planning to spend will not work.

    Not if people look at the television (and so on) and say to themselves “what they are presenting is a pack of lies”.

    The media have lied for a long time – for example in 1960 they presented a serial adulterer, drug abuser and cripple who was dying of Addison’s disease, as a healthy and clean living, athlete.

    The image the media presented of Jack Kennedy was not just wrong – it was the exact opposite of the truth, but that did not matter because most people BELIEVED the media.

    Lying is only a problem when people realise you are lying.

    If, and it is IF, most people have finally understand that what they see on the television screen (and on the approved parts of Social Media) is a PACK OF LIES, then the Democrats may be in serious trouble.

    Although I suspect that most people have yet to understand that what the schools and universities teach is also a pack-of-lies.

  • Paul Marks

    In case anyone does not know…..

    The Biden family are guilty of massive financial corruption, and the President of the United States (in this case President Trump) is under a legal obligation (due to treaties signed with the Ukraine) to ask for corruption involving American citizens to be investigated.

    Senator Romney knows all the above – and that makes his speech (as well as his vote) evidence of moral degeneracy, not in relation to President Trump (who has his own moral failings – as we all do), but in relation to HIMSELF.

    The fact that all but three Democrats in the House and ALL the Democrats in the Senate voted guilty in a case they KNEW the President was innocent, proves that everything I have claimed about the Democrats is true.

    Think about it – you are voting to depose the President of the United States, a de facto COUP, on the basis of absurd charges you know to be the REVERSE of the truth.

    You are not punishing President Trump for bad things he has done in his life (no doubt he has done bad things) – you are seeking to punish him for doing something GOOD, for him asking for massive corruption to be investigated (as he was legally obliged to do).

    Proof of the utter evil, and I use the word evil after careful thought, of the Democrats. And their allies in the Progressive movement – the “mainstream” media, and the education system.

  • Lee Moore

    But as the short excerpt above argues, you can tell how likely it is that you have a better grasp of reality by considering how willing you are to listen to and think about opposing arguments.

    In the parochial matter of today’s politics, righties have an asymmetrical advantage here. Even if you are inclined to shut out lefty stuff, it’s so ubiquitous that doing so is nearly impossible. T’other way round, not so much.

  • Lee Moore

    Thomas Kuhn did not provide any such rules to explain why scientific revolutions occur, but he did provide a good insight: it is good that not all scientists change their minds at the same point, that some continue to work on the old paradigm while others try something new, because new ideas do not always fulfill their promise. When the new paradigm fulfills its promise, then eventually all scientists still alive will accept it.

    Hmm. That sounds almost like – having multiple more or less autonomous decision makers beats having A GRAND PLAN OF THE ENLIGHTENED, cos suck it and see is an effective algorithm.

    Can’t be right, Shirley.

  • Nullius in Verba

    “Even if you are inclined to shut out lefty stuff, it’s so ubiquitous that doing so is nearly impossible.”

    It’s hard not to hear. It’s easy not to listen. 🙂

  • “Even if you are inclined to shut out lefty stuff, it’s so ubiquitous that doing so is nearly impossible.”

    It’s hard not to hear. It’s easy not to listen. 🙂 (Nullius in Verba, February 11, 2020 at 6:53 am)

    Actually, while it is not that hard for people in our position to discount (even occasionally to over-discount) a little of the very obvious and current stuff, it is not at all easy to prevent background PC seeping into the mind, and harder to realise how much flooded in during one’s youth and is still there, chance never having brought to the mind’s attention the evidence or arguments against. William Shirer noted that, spending much time in Germany in the 1930s, he was several times deceived by Goebbels propaganda despite knowing it was and despising the nazis. The incident in Orwell’s 1984 where the hero realises his girlfriend, though utterly cynical about the party, has unthinkingly swallowed its claim to have invented aeroplanes (he, by contrast, is old enough to remember when the party only claimed to have invented helicopters) doubtless reflects real-world observations. I have several times met it in defector literature – the rebel hates the totalitarian state but his or her mind still unquestioningly echoes some ideas that state planted there in younger days.

    I’ve come across it in myself and would advise all on this blog never to assume that, just because they are here, their mind does not have any wool that the PC once pulled over their eyes still lying around, distorting their conclusions and yet to be examined and/or researched.

    (A post about this that I’ve been very rarely making notes on for literally years may one day appear. 🙂 )

  • Paul Marks (February 11, 2020 at 1:08 am), I see Romney as an example of how people can let their egos trap them inside their own errors. The ability to “change your mind if someone with a different point of view presents a more valid argument” is related to the ability to notice when you are in the wrong and say sorry. What I have seen of Romney is reminding me of Edward Heath, who spent the 80s (and after) fuming that a woman had demonstrated how to do it, after he had shown how not to do it. If Trump’s in-your-face approach to PC is right then Romney has been hurting his (officially) own cause all his life – his ‘judicious compromises’ reclassified as self-indulgent betrayals, or even as cowardice.

    One hopes the Queen’s 80s joke to Heath – “But you’re expendable!” – will one day be politically true of Romney. 🙂

  • Rich Rostrom

    Lee Moore @ February 10, 2020 at 3:31 am:

    Nor is there anything seriously dishonest in manufacturing false evidence – since it simply shows the public the underlying truth, and stands in the place of the evidence that has been too well hidden.

    Shades of the Dreyfus Affair! The anti-Dreyfusards openly supported the forgers and perjurers. I wonder how long it will take before the anti-Trumpers reach that state.

  • Snorri Godhi

    Thanks to Instapundit i found a related blog post, which contains this insight:

    Broadly speaking, there are two wings to the modern Democratic Party: The corrupt wing, represented by the Clintons, and the insane wing, currently represented by Bernie Sanders.

    One qualification that i think is in order, is that most low-ranking supporters of the corrupt wing are themselves not corrupt but insane. Their (delusional) insanity consists in being unable to see the corruption.

    I thought it worth mentioning, because i see too little discussion of the insanity of modern US Democrats in this thread: apart from yours truly, only the 1st comment mentions the I-word.

  • Nico

    @NK: I can’t tell if Romney is the egotist he looks like superficially, or fully on the other side and a plant on the R side. There is a lot of evidence for either proposition.

    These days, too, it is difficult for me to tell the difference between reality and parody. It’s not surprising that I can’t tell what is Defecto’s real motivation.

  • Julie near Chicago

    niall,

    It is not at all easy to prevent background PC seeping into the mind,….

    wish more people, specly anti-left, understood this 🙂 .

    [snip– …also true, acourse…]

    William Shirer noted that, spending much time in Germany in the 1930s, he was several times deceived by Goebbels propaganda despite knowing it was and despising the nazis.

    Viz. silver-tongued W.J. Clinton, in part of an intvw I saw toward end of Term 2. Knew him for a liar & a skunk, but he sounded so damn sincer … love this country … this is the only soln … blah blah blah best for th country … …

    Had turn off TV for teh 5-minute sanitation process.

    Pls excuse typs, abbrev’s.

  • Lee Moore

    I have always liked the “Gell-Mann Amnesia effect”, as explained by Michael Crichton :

    “Briefly stated, the Gell-Mann Amnesia effect is as follows. You open the newspaper to an article on some subject you know well. In Murray’s case, physics. In mine, show business. You read the article and see the journalist has absolutely no understanding of either the facts or the issues. Often, the article is so wrong it actually presents the story backward—reversing cause and effect. I call these the “wet streets cause rain” stories. Paper’s full of them.

    In any case, you read with exasperation or amusement the multiple errors in a story, and then turn the page to national or international affairs, and read as if the rest of the newspaper was somehow more accurate about Palestine than the baloney you just read. You turn the page, and forget what you know.”

  • Johnathan Pearce

    I am very late to this party, so I would go along with a lot of the analysis here, not least that Trump has driven the Dems completely mad, although many of them were barking mad already and all he has done is to make that very obvious.

    The Ukraine corruption thing (implicating Biden and his son) is bad, and the Dems hoped they could use impeachment to take attention away from that. Trump’s mistake was being crass enough to try and enlist a foreign power to point that out when the evidence was damning anyway. That’s Trump’s failing: he’s not sneaky enough, like Obama or HC.

    What in my view is the biggest issue is that there is clear evidence I have read about that Obama allowed those connected in his admin. to spy on Trump ahead of 2016, that this was clearly illegal. Everything else pales into insignificance compared to this. The investigation into events leading to the attempt to pin Russian collusion on Trump will prove that Hillary/others used concocted evidence to encourage an FBI probe into Trump when the “evidence” was a Democrat cook-up job; this was illegal, an outrageous abuse of power. Even Glenn Greenwald, no friend of the Right, has blasted the MSM for its craven treatment of the issue.

    The fact is that the biggest crook in today’s politics is Barack Obama, but that for various reasons, no one is going to prosecute him or his colleagues.

    The Dems’ insurance policy post-2016 was their hope that these various allegations would tie up Trump in knots and prevent him from governing. They failed, and the consequences for them will be heavy defeat in November.

  • Snorri Godhi

    William Shirer noted that, spending much time in Germany in the 1930s, he was several times deceived by Goebbels propaganda despite knowing it was and despising the nazis.

    I seem to remember writing this before on Samizdata, but here it goes.
    Goebbels was more credible than the NY Times when it comes to the Holodomor.
    Shirer should have trusted Goebbels on that particular issue.