What about impeachment? There is no question that Congress can impeach Trump for his role in encouraging today’s assault on Congress. What are the arguments for and against?
There is a real possibility that Trump will do something dangerous in the final days of his presidency.
If he is impeached and convicted, he could be barred from running for President again.
Presumably impeaching him would have some precedential / deterrent value going forward.
A politically divisive impeachment would divert attention from Trump’s now oh-so-evident wrongdoing and breath new life into the grievance narrative that motivates him and his base. It could bolster his political support. It could also fail.
So what to do? Removal under the 25th amendment would avoid charges of partisanship (since it would be done by Pence and Trump’s cabinet). It would hasten Trump’s fall from power within the GOP. If removal under the 25th amendment is not in the cards, I think Democrats should only impeach if Republican Senators commit to removing him from office and if McConnell agrees to bring the matter to a timely vote. Arguably, Democrats should insist that some reasonable number of Republicans (say, 50%) agree in advance to removal, to kill the partisan grievance narrative and keep the focus on Trump’s wrongdoing. If Democrats challenge Republicans to commit to remove Trump from office and they refuse then the failure to impeach and remove would make them complicit in yesterday’s thuggish attack on democracy. But proceeding with a doomed, democratic impeachment without Senate removal would have no precedential or deterrence value and it would be a political gift to Trump and his base.
If Dems are to have an input, they should also ask Pence not to pardon Trump.
Only attempting to apply the 25th Amendment will make rioters understand how far they jumped over the civilized line.
Oh, for crying out loud. Trump has already been impeached. What good would another do. There isn’t a 2/3 vote in the Senate to convict, so this is nothing but a temper tantrum.The 25th Amendment requires a majority of the cabinet, a cabinet appointed by Trump and loyal to Trump. And it would still require a 2/3 vote in Congress. This is magical thinking.
True it still may not happen. There is always a reason to try and see where people stand at the end of the day. McConnell did not want to have objections during the Ballot count as it presents an unwelcome view of Republicans if they voice an opinion or vote no.
I’m not sure that things like”political gifts” to Trump and his base, especially impeachments without Senate conviction matter that much anymore. Trump and his acolytes manufacture their own universe out of whole cloth anyway.
The practical problem with the 25th Amendment is that it would take at least 8 or 9 days to implement. I’m not against trying it, but the time lag still leaves Trump a lot of time to do some damage. Impeachment and conviction in the Senate would be great, but not gonna happen. I’m thinking that the best available option might be to urge Trump to accept a pardon from Pence in exchange for resigning, but that would have to happen very soon. Trump shouldn’t be allowed to hold out for that kind of deal until mid-morning on the 20th. Put a short shelf-life on the offer.
You don’t want to give Trump a pardon. Formula for keeping Trump out of everyone’s hair after he leaves the White House — for keeping Trump busy otherwise: “Lock him up; lock him up” — with as many state and local criminal charges as anyone can come up with.
The immediate problem is getting Trump out of the WH before he has a chance to do anymore harm. I don’t like the idea of pardoning him, but if that’s what it takes to remove him before he has a chance to cause further havoc…not to mention more Trump giving out lots of more pardons, then I’d swallow hard and take the deal.
Pence already said “no” to using the 25th Amendment. Perhaps yesterday’s activities was meant to encourage some type of deal allowing him to deport?
Donald Trump, the head of the executive branch, called hordes of his supporters to Washington DC and there addressed them and sent them to attack the legislative branch. If the legislative branch takes no action in response to this unprecedented crime, then they might as well quit pretending to be an equal branch of government. If some members of Congress refuse to defend their institution and thus condone that act, let them be on record in that refusal.
Brief the joint chiefs and call it a day. As long as Trump cannot provoke a war then anything else that he can do is just small potatoes now. Biden is certainly close enough to becoming POTUS to have a pretext for a closed session briefing with the joint chiefs now.
The Ds will control majority in Senate by somewhere between January 15 and 20, probably. The trial could be conducted then. Conviction would strip the culprit of the trappings of former office highly valued by all ex presidents, bar him from running again, deny him lawful access to huge pots of campaign funds, and of course mark him in history in a unique way. A vote against conviction by, e..g., the aptly named Sedition Caucus, also would define those politicians usefully. The trial also can be conducted after January 20 and a conviction later would have the same effects.
Some Republicans may already be inclined to vote for impeachment and conviction, but a bipartisan action would not change anything – the Trump cult will dismiss the GOP ‘RINOs’ and ‘traitors’. Democrats should proceed with or without GOP participation. Impeachment will totally capture the thin-skinned President’s attention, potentially distracting him from the mayhem he would otherwise cause. He doesn’t seem to have much capacity for multitasking. Keep him fuming about this affront to his fragile ego.
The only thing the right respects is power. Trump is a loser. He lost the election, lost his attempt to steal it, lost his coup, will lose his office, and will lose them over time. He can be impeached but the Senate will delay so they don’t have to vote until it is moot. It may divert his attention but that is about all it can accomplish.
I just have to trust that General Mark Milley, chairman of the joint chiefs, is capable of doing what needs to be done to protect our country from its own POTUS. Yeah, I know, but if Milley had appeared more receptive to Pelosi’s urging then that would have violated the military’s political neutrality in domestic affairs. Also, the US announcing even temporary unilateral nuclear disarmament might make a restless nuclear adversary more bold. It’s not like Milley could just give Pelosi the football for a couple of weeks. Besides, it should have been the place of the POTUS-elect to have had that conversation with the joint chiefs and maybe he already has.
In the early seventies, I was with 4th BN 10th Marines. We were specifically trained in crowd control at Camp Lejeune along with elements of the 82nd Airborne at Fort Bragg. We spent some weekends on base waiting for the call which never came. There is a history of having available federal troops for civil unrest especially when a state is hostile and its National Guard may have similar elements. It would not have been implausible to truck us up which was planned, to D.C. and was precisely the thought at the time. Most of us were veterans, no live-rounds would have been disbursed, and at least we would not have looked like something out of star-wars in our helmets, flak jackets, and carrying M14s. We would have carried tear gas and masks also. In case, sharpshooters were planned as auxiliary support.
Since we were charged with obeying the Constitution first, the president secondarily, and protecting civilians; I would say the latter would be better protected and served by federal troops trained in crowd control than a National Guard or domestic police force who (the latter) have proven to be overly and purposely aggressive with minorities, civilians, and protestors.
Realistically, Nancy was just grandstanding. There is going to be a new sheriff in town soon, Kamala Harris. Old Joe will be POTUS, but Kamala Harris will have the tie-breaker vote in the Senate and a real future in politics.
all things considered, i think Kramer makes the best point.
the rest (almost all) simply amounts to feel-good punish Trump emotion. which would be a gift to both Trump and his true believers.
that said, i have to hope Ron is right: the military is not going to let Trump start a war. I hope we can undue his damage to the environment and to the political “expectations” in this country.
but “lock him up” is not the answer. we already have too much of that kind of thinking.
Well, I was just commenting, as Coberly correctly perceived, upon Pelosi’s meet with the chairman of the joint chiefs over blocking Trump on using the nuclear codes.
My take on the crowd control during the autogolpe is that doing practically nothing was exactly the correct response. Later the head of capitol police fell on his sword. Nothing there tells me whether they were just deer in the headlights absentee leadership or strategically well endowed.
Regardless, even amidst the casualties we are better off without complaints of police brutality constantly being emitted by Trump and his gorillas and an uncertain outcome to the political fracture that they caused. Even McConnell has stepped back from the precipice since the Trump gorilla incursion into the capitol. Now Trump is isolated and defeated in every sense of the words. We need to take the win and count our lucky stars. There is nothing civil about civil wars. We dodged a bullet either by chance or by emanating Sun Tzu.
Under different circumstances then I would have been for fire-hosing and tear-gassing the lot of them in the midst of winter, but we had exactly the wrong political circumstances for such an authoritarian approach.
Never said act violent to demonstrators. Indeed quite the opposite. 5 deaths are ok for you?
Oops! My previous comment was intended for @RUN.
“…the rest (almost all) simply amounts to feel-good punish Trump emotion. which would be a gift to both Trump and his true believers.
that said, i have to hope Ron is right: the military is not going to let Trump start a war. I hope we can undue his damage to the environment and to the political ‘expectations’ in this country.
but ‘lock him up’ is not the answer. we already have too much of that kind of thinking.”
[We be of one mind on this and many things.]
Shit! And that previous comment was for @Coberly.
if we need to lock somebody up, the people who are claiming the riot was really led by antifa are the ones we should concentrate on.
what is their agenda?: to seize power in America is my best guess. that is exactly what the communists were accused of from about 1914 to about 1970.
i don’t know that Gaetz and Fox news etc are a foreign conspiracy ( I doubt it) but their goals are just the same, and they are much more dangerous.
but that (my suggestion) is a very slippery slope, as we should have learned from the jailing of Eugene Debs and the fun and games of the House Unamerican Activities Committee.
Maybe we need to just rely on the intelligence of the people (frail reed), but i’d like to see some louder voices against them
i hope I did not say you were advocating violence to protesters. It has sounded to me like a lot of people are. including the congresspeople.
as for five deaths: too too many. it has seemed to me that the leftish press has avoided saying the woman was shot by a cop, and did not mention that a cop was critically injured until he actually died. as for who killed the cop.. we don’t know the circumstances… was the cop about to shoot someone?
i don’t know. in any case there were a lot of people in that room, and we don’t know what any of them thought they were doing.
i participated in protests in the sixties. had no idea what i was getting into. glad that no one called the cops and got my head bashed in. mobs get out of hand. (including police mobs.)
best picture of the day was the woman crying about being maced. asked what she was doing at the Capitol: “it’s the revolution.” these people are mostly harmless idiots. the real criminals are members of congress and the Fox news and of course Trump. there are serious political considerations to consider while considering what to do about them.
I believe the law says there will be equal bashing by law. No one gets a break from it.
oddly enough, i think that is more true than we tend to believe. i have no doubt that black people are more often the victims of police abuse of power, but i remember anti-war demonstrations where the police showed they were just as happy bashing white people, including the wives of lawyers. and i was personally “abused” by cops in situations that had nothing to do with protests.
quite late in life i met a few ex-cops who seemed to me to be decent people and i had to modify my views of “all cops.”
best i can come up with is that i am a great lover of dogs and have never had a problem with dogs except twice. once was when i went up to a police car with a k-9 in the back seat. he made it clear that he would kill me if i touched his car. the second time was when i was in a “colored neighborhood” and the resident dogs told me they did not like white people.
so, you see, it’s a matter of training and who you run with.
This is an odd place to be having this discussion after I had said to be on topic or the post owner can toss us>
Elie Mystal, justice correspondent for The Nation, threw down the gauntlet for Biden’s designated attorney general, Merrick Garland.
Domestic terrorism is our number one threat but I just want to add we do not need new laws to deal with it, alright? We do not need new federal legislation, we do not need a new surveillance state.
Insurrection is already a crime, alright? Conspiracy to commit crimes are already crimes. Felony murder is already a crime. What we need to do is not have a new surveillance state commission.
What we need is to take the laws we already have and apply them to white people, for like once. Let’s try it. Tastes just like chicken. But take the laws we’ve got and apply them to white people and see what happens because I think that’s the way forward, not with new laws and new regimes and new surveillance.
Today, it is not. More black Americans get inequal or unequal(?) justice under the law in confrontation, enforcement, arrests, trials, sentencing, in prisons, paroles, etc. The stats are there Shooting with bullet-spewing-weapons are about equal. What is missing is equal application of the law.
Hell black America will never gain access to the Shining City on the Hill or the rich suburbs surrounding Detroit, the economic and legal doors are slammed shut.
heck. I already agreed with Eric. the rest follows from what do you need to do after you have realized impeachment is self defeating.
that’s why i agree with you. we don’t need new laws or, god help us, new surveillance. we need to enforce the ordinary laws…including fraud by big banks and corporations, murder by cop, “cruel and unusual punishment,”without regard to race or privilege.
that’s why i object to turning every issue into a proof of America’s racism.
I believe I implied a couple of times how the law is applied to black people more so than us white ones. It is a matter of racism. Something needs to be done with trump. He can’t be left alone anymore.
oh, i don’t think he will be left alone with any dangerous toys. and he has friends, of a sort, so he won’t be lonely. i am hoping his personality will alienate people, and being out of power will keep them from following him
i’d rather watch that play out than put him in a cage.
and of course it is a matter of racism. the question is what to do about it. shouting “racism” does not help. creating opportunities for races to work together on something they believe in (better jobs at better pay) is the best thing i can think of to eliminate most overt racism. then the pernicious racists will lie low and hopefully die out.
the way things are going, what we are going to learn is that the real rulers hate both of us, white and black, and turn us against each other to make us easier to manage for their power and profit. we need to be smarter than that.
i watched a youtube where republican congressman giving speech in congress complains that new house rule against “motion to reconsider” is socialist denial of free speech. i did not like his speech, but does he have a point?
related to this, new house rule (?) bans words like man woman mother father…etc to avoid “sexism”. is this true? is the left so stupid? video of house “minister’ praying to p.c.supreme being… ending prayer with “amen and awomen.” this is not “sensitivity.” it is stupidity.
there is a question here: is this really happening or is this another big white ring lie?
“Never said act violent to demonstrators. Indeed quite the opposite. 5 deaths are ok for you?”
[OK, maybe federal troops would have solved everything, but maybe not too. We know how things turned out the way they were, but we have to take it on faith that no one would have died rather than perhaps dozens or hundreds would have died and then the further repercussions. I thought you were an atheist. Maybe instead of just an autogolpe we could have had a full-on armed insurrection or coup.
I was trained crowd control in Fort Gordon MP AIT, but when I got to Vietnam found that the 101st MP Company was good enough at it to make a confrontation spin out of control into a disaster that others would need to clean up. The capital incursion was a tinderbox. Why throw in a match with the appearance of a military presence that had no intention of violence? The road to hell is paved with good intentions.]
I wrote earlier suggesting an overwhelming show of force before the mob got to the Capitol would have prevented all violence.
I will defer to your experience with such things. but give it a thought and let me know.
thing is, the cops or troops need to be disciplined enough not to over-react to the few crazies who will act out.
that’s if it starts out as a mere mob or demonstration. a genuine insurrection (which this was not, unless those people are even stupider than i thought) would arrive with its own show of force or, better, have agents already inside to do the actual coup. (word means strike, i don’t have much patience with de. a finitions of fine distinction that no one ever heard about. a coup can come from “outside” by people not a part of the current ruling class. or it can come from the current de-facto ruling class as a strike against the present form of government…as say turning a democracy with checks and balances into a straight forward rule by force, which turns out historically to be favored by mobs who can’t think… the fascists and nazis of the 1930’s talked about “the stinking corpse of democracy” i suppose because the believed they had the force to rule for their own interests without the consent of the people.)
“…thing is, the cops or troops need to be disciplined enough not to over-react to the few crazies who will act out…”
[ Well, yeah and… The bigger the force is that you deploy the greater the chance that some of them will take the bait. We all know about cell phone cameras putting the surveillance state back on its heels now. Cops hate them. In a liberal quasi-democracy, then the republic is somewhat vulnerable to popular opinion. My guess is that the “demonstration” by Trump supporters was planned to solicit a response that would be forceful enough to invite sympathy for their cause. It is a well worn tactic. The harder that demonstrators push the edge, then usually the harder that defenders (i.e., either police or military) push back. I believe that Trump was counting on it working out that way and already had his next move planned accordingly. The weakness of the capitol police response tripped him up.
In general I am not a fan of game theory, not because it is wrong, but rather because it is often wrongly practiced. The idea of using game theory is to not fall into a set of assumptions that ignore the realities of the situation being analyzed. So, game pseudo-theorists try to cook book a solution from classic game theory experiments. In real life each “game” is different and every set of “players” is different. There is no cook book and even venturing a good guess requires information that we do not have. The only guidance is to play out the alternative scenarios and ask oneself what would they think that they would gain in this situation? Then hope for the best. It would have been a tough call to make. OTOH, there is a reasonably good chance that the capitol police underestimated the Trump gorillas and just got lucky.
In any case, it is over now. The head of capitol police took the hit. Second guessing them now is about the least important thing that I can imagine doing. ]
I agree. least important but so much fun. note that the powers and the pundits are discussing it as though it was the most important.
I am going to suggest something more important in a future open thread or post of I can get the energy to write it up. I think I alluded to it above, but may have left out the most important. afraid to push my “off topic” rope.
as for game theory, i think you have it about right. my knowledge of it is slight, but i have managed to keep my usual skepticism. The thing I remember about it most is that Von Neumann, the very brilliant man who invented it, followed its logic to recommend using the atomic bomb against the Soviet Union before they could get one of their own.
[so did Bertrand Russell, another brilliant man (who, incidentally, thought that Christianity was the worship of a self repairing cracked teapot in interstellar space. very clever he was). Russell became a sort of peacenik a few years later, arguing against the bomb with Edward Teller, another brilliant man.]
Some day we will remember the Rosenbergs as heroes.
A lot of classic game theory is derived from how college students react to artificial scenarios developed by college professors as social experiments. The same social experiments involving biker gangs, dock workers, roughnecks, or a group of known sociopaths might yield different results.
Likewise, the success of crowd control strategies depends greatly on who is in the crowd, how large the crowd is, and how the crowd is organized. So, in anticipating the reaction of a crowd to crowd control measures, then the highest risk would be posed by a large crowd of independent (i.e., leaderless) actors that are known to have sociopathic tendencies. Wednesday was nothing like Kent State and we know how well that went.
An additional note to the discussion of mobs and crowd control is the general psychology of groups of followers. There are two kinds of groups of followers, those that seek salvation and those that seek liberation. The salvation seekers have sought such saviors famously as Jesus Christ and infamously as Jim Jones. The liberation seekers have sought such liberators famously as Simón Bolívar and infamously as Ernesto “Che” Guevara. Interestingly enough, Che narrowly escaped death at the hands of his own followers in Africa when they found that he was unable to provide them the weapons that he had promised.