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The Forum > Article Comments > Pelosi, Schiff, Nadler abuse of power rebounds on Democrats > Comments

Pelosi, Schiff, Nadler abuse of power rebounds on Democrats : Comments

By David Singer, published 10/2/2020

Their partisan political strategy has cost taxpayers tens of millions of dollars as the Democrats trashed long-established cardinal legal principles to pursue the President.

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Hahahaha! Oh, That's a good one and beyond your usual laying it on thick Humbug! LOL!
Alan B.
Posted by Alan B., Monday, 10 February 2020 9:45:29 AM
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#Alan B
At least you are consistent - full of sanctimonious blathering with nothing concrete to add by way of dissent. What about some factual arguments to rebut my article?

The Democrats made a very poor judgement call to use their House majority to impeach Trump in the absence of bipartisan agreement. They have established a precedent that the Republicans could well follow when they win control of the House.
Posted by david singer, Monday, 10 February 2020 6:15:42 PM
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democrats have shown that they are not fit for office. They have abused their power in opposition. Imagine they had power to rule.
Posted by runner, Monday, 10 February 2020 9:24:17 PM
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.

Dear David (the author),

.

My understanding is that Donald Trump is a crook, a cheat, a liar and a megalomaniac. Those are the qualities that allowed him to bounce back on a number of occasions despite the failure of several of his business ventures, including six corporate bankruptcies and a reported 3,500 disputes in the courts.

It seems to me that his current popularity as attested by the latest Gallup poll that you mention is to be attributed more to his “wild west” approach to problem solving – through a pair of swinging doors – than anything to do with Pelosi, Schiff, Nadler or his impeachment by the democrat majority in the House of Representatives.

Trump bursts into "OK Corral", both barrels blasting, and has come up with what, so far, appear to be positive results.

That was how it worked in his business deals. Many Americans seem to think that that is how it works in politics too and that Trump is exactly the kind of outlaw they need to get the job done to make America great again (understand : “make all Americans great again”).

The problem is that while Trump amassed a net worth of about $10 billion personally, in order to achieve it he put up little of his own money, shifted personal debts to his casinos and other investments and collected millions of dollars in salary, bonuses, and other payments.

The burden of his failures fell on investors, employees and others who had the misfortune of having relied on his business acumen. He is quite right in presenting those business failures as his personal victories.

Another thing is certain : whatever the final results will be, positive or negative, Trump will present them as the best achievement ever made by any president in the entire history of the United States.

Not only will he have made America great again, but he will also have been the greatest president the United States will have ever had or could ever hope to have anytime in the future.

Ordinary Americans may experience things differently.

.
Posted by Banjo Paterson, Tuesday, 11 February 2020 2:03:47 AM
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I came across thi very impressive book in Readings Carlton bookstore yesterday:
Impeach The Case Against Donald Trump by Neal Katyal.

And this one today via browse on the above book.

The Case For Impeaching Trump by Elizabeth Holtzman

Now tell me again who it was that either broke the law or made a complete mockery of it during the recent impeachment circus event!

And indeed who has made a complete mockery of both the US Constitution and the various agreed upon conventions by which the US political process has operated up until now!
Posted by Daffy Duck, Tuesday, 11 February 2020 1:53:59 PM
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haters will be haters and Trump will continue to kick goal after goal. Ha Ha. One wonders if Trump was so corrupt as the haters and lying liberal media constantly report, why is it they have to make up hoax's in order to remove him from office. Trump's opponents are about as credible as Chritine Blassey Ford and Jussie Smollett. Surely these hypocrites now have enough egg on their faces to stop making up lies. Oh I thought not.
Posted by runner, Tuesday, 11 February 2020 2:01:35 PM
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I believe in the lesser of two evils & the lesser came out on top ! The result could have been a lot worse !
Posted by individual, Tuesday, 11 February 2020 2:43:59 PM
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#Banjo

You really need to judge Trump's record as President - which is truly amazing - rather than attacking him personally - as this list demonstrates:
https://www.whitehouse.gov/trump-administration-accomplishments/

The Democrats hope that Trump would be impeached was being raised as early as 17 April 2016 - seven months before he was even elected - as an article in Politico claimed:
“Impeachment” is already on the lips of pundits, newspaper editorials, constitutional scholars, and even a few members of Congress. From the right, Washington attorney Bruce Fein puts the odds at 50/50 that a President Trump commits impeachable offenses as president."

This Democrat and media obsession with impeachment will be the factor that sees the Democrats losing the 2020 elections. The voters do not like it as the opinion polls are showing.

#Daffy
Trump was acquitted. Accepting the verdict is what should always occur. You apparently don't agree. 100 Senators made that decision in accordance with the procedures laid out in the Senate and the Constitution.Game, set and match. Get over it.
Posted by david singer, Tuesday, 11 February 2020 5:43:27 PM
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.

Dear David,

.

You wrote :

1. « You really need to judge Trump's record as President - which is truly amazing - rather than attacking him personally - as this list demonstrates:

http://www.whitehouse.gov/trump-administration-accomplishments/ »

The list is presented as written by the president himself: “Under my Administration ….”. “We did this …” and “We did that …”.

As I indicated in my previous post, President Trump is widely and consistently reputed to be a pathologic liar and cannot be considered a reliable source of information. Unfortunately, “he” (if, indeed, it was Trump who wrote the list) does not cite his sources.

Whatever he says and whatever he writes, nobody knows if it is true or not. Perhaps it is, perhaps it isn’t. Everything must be checked, and double checked.

That is a major inconvenience for a president of the United States.

An example of this is his recent State of the Union speech. Fact checking by the “Washington Post” reveals the following “mistruths” :

http://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/2020/02/04/fact-checking-president-trumps-2020-state-union-address/

Nancy Pelosi issued this statement on Trump’s State of the Union speech :

http://www.speaker.gov/newsroom/2520
.

2. « The Democrats hope that Trump would be impeached was being raised as early as 17 April 2016 - seven months before he was even elected »

That’s understandable – given his track record as a crook, cheat, liar and megalomaniac prior to his election as president of the United States – particularly since his personal fortune was gained at the expense of many of those who placed their trust in him (investors, sacked employees)

3. « This Democrat and media obsession with impeachment will be the factor that sees the Democrats losing the 2020 elections. The voters do not like it as the opinion polls are showing »

I beg to disagree. I don’t think impeachment has anything to do with it. His acquittal was a foregone conclusion. I think it will be because the electors think Trump is doing a good job despite – or because of – his well-earned experience as an “outlaw”.

The polls are confirming that his impeachment doesn’t count.

.
Posted by Banjo Paterson, Tuesday, 11 February 2020 11:40:10 PM
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#Banjo

Since you choose to use the Washington Post fact check list - here are my comments to a few:
1. “I am thrilled to report to you tonight that our economy is the best it has ever been.”

"The president can certainly brag about the state of the economy, but he runs into trouble when he repeatedly makes a play for the history books."

So Trump is entitled to brag about the economy but he could be stretching the truth about the history books. According to you Trump has done nothing to brag about in relation to the economy.

2. “Since my election, we have created 7 million new jobs.”

"Trump often inflates the number of jobs created under his presidency by counting from Election Day, rather than when he took the oath of office. There have been almost 6.7 million jobs created since February 2017, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics."

6.7 million people with jobs - now off unemployment benefits - is not a bad record - don't you agree?

3. “Under my administration, 7 million Americans have come off of food stamps.”

"About 6 million people (not 7 million) have stopped receiving food stamps since February 2017, according to the latest data."

6 million isn't a bad figure either - don't you agree? Do you think these people who have had their dignity and that of their families restored will vote for Trump or his opponent?

Shock horror - Trump might be stretching the truth. Tell me which politicians don't. But he is producing solid results which you refuse to acknowledge.

Pelosi has no credibility following her reversing her opinion that impeachment should not occur in the absence of bipartisan support and bringing the House into disrepute by tearing up the President's SOTU address. At least she has now realised that if the Democrats want to beat Trump they need to have the policies to do so - not think they can win by using their majority in the House to delegitimise a duly elected President.
Posted by david singer, Wednesday, 12 February 2020 10:25:37 AM
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.

Dear David,

.

Trump was never a politician. He was in real estate – having inherited his father’s fortune and real estate business. According to The New York Times he "was a millionaire by age 8". He started working in the family business when he was 15 while he was still a student. He has never been involved in the nitty-gritty of politics. He could never have acquired the culture of cheating and lying from politics. It must have been in real estate.

As president of the United States, he is no ordinary politician, and no ordinary man. His is the Head of State, Chief Executive, and Commander in Chief of the Armed Forces of the world’s most powerful nation - 24 hours a day, every day of the year, as long as he remains president. As such, he is expected to act neither as an ordinary politician nor as an ordinary man, but to be a paragon of integrity and respect.

I think it is true to say that we are all capable of telling lies at some point or other during our lives, even if we are good honest people.

However, some lies are acceptable, and others are not. In my view, those that are acceptable are the lies we tell solely for the benefit of others. Those that we tell solely for our own benefit are not acceptable. And the lies we tell for the supposed benefit of both ourselves and others are only acceptable if the others accept them as such, i.e., lies.

Here is an example, in partisan politics, of a lie for the benefit of others :

http://www.youtube.com/watch?time_continue=5&v=S34cVkL6zCE&feature=emb_logo

.
Posted by Banjo Paterson, Thursday, 13 February 2020 7:47:04 AM
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#Banjo

You now state that Trump as President must be "expected to act neither as an ordinary politician nor as an ordinary man, but to be a paragon of integrity and respect."

Which former Presidents would you say met these high and exacting standards?
Posted by david singer, Thursday, 13 February 2020 11:58:03 AM
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.

Dear David,

.

You ask :

« Which former Presidents would you say met these high and exacting standards? [of integrity and respect] »
.

I must confess I know next to nothing, if not, nothing whatsoever, about most of the 45 presidents of the United States, including Donald Trump.

That being the case, my only resort is to apply the judicial principle of “innocent until proved guilty” which, though I don’t agree with its systematic application in respect of all types of crimes and misdemeanours, I find acceptable for the simple purpose of replying to your question.

Only three U.S. presidents have been formally impeached by Congress – Andrew Johnson, Bill Clinton and Donald Trump. So far, no U.S. president has ever been removed from office through impeachment. Though Andrew Johnson came very close. He escaped a guilty verdict by just one vote in 1868.

In addition to Johnson, Clinton and Trump, only one other U.S. president has faced formal impeachment inquiries in the House of Representatives – Richard Nixon – but he resigned in order to avoid being impeached. Many other presidents have been threatened with impeachment by political foes without gaining any real traction in Congress.

So the best I can offer by way of reply to your question, is that apart from these four presidents – Andrew Johnson, Richard Nixon, Bill Clinton and Donald Trump – I presume that all 41 of the remaining past presidents of the United States met the high standards of integrity and respect expected of them – otherwise, they too may have been impeached, or risked impeachment, and resigned as Nixon did in 1974.

.
Posted by Banjo Paterson, Thursday, 13 February 2020 8:00:46 PM
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#Banjo

You state:
1. " my only resort is to apply the judicial principle of “innocent until proved guilty” which, though I don’t agree with its systematic application in respect of all types of crimes and misdemeanours, I find acceptable for the simple purpose of replying to your question"

2. "So the best I can offer by way of reply to your question, is that apart from these four presidents – Andrew Johnson, Richard Nixon, Bill Clinton and Donald Trump – I presume that all 41 of the remaining past presidents of the United States met the high standards of integrity and respect expected of them – otherwise, they too may have been impeached, or risked impeachment, and resigned as Nixon did in 1974."

So Impeachment is your standard and innocence until proved guilty is the outcome.

Johnson, Nixon, Clinton and Trump were impeached but not found guilty. By your standards however each would therefore meet the high standards of integrity and respect expected of them. You obviously don't think that about Trump and I am sure you would not think that about Clinton.

I suggest you focus on Trump's policies and their success or otherwise - not his persona. Hopefully voters will do the same come election time.
Posted by david singer, Friday, 14 February 2020 11:53:56 AM
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BP,

Airing your list of being outraged at Trump is pointless. The Democrats poisoned the process with its blatantly partisan kangaroo court impeachment. By the time the democrats held their triumphal walk to the senate, they had already lost the moral high ground so when the Republican senate unceremoniously drop kicked the impeachment into the trash the fury of the Dems fell on the deaf ears of the voters.

The real loser from this would appear to be Biden, and the danger for the democrats is that an extremist like Sanders gets to face off against Trump.
Posted by Shadow Minister, Friday, 14 February 2020 1:04:09 PM
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.

Dear David,

.

Three presidents – Andrew Johnson, Bill Clinton and Donald Trump – have been impeached by majority vote in the House of Representatives. Richard Nixon resigned in disgrace as the articles of his impeachment were being drafted. The other 41 presidents of the United States have never been indicted (impeached) by the House for any wrongdoings.

The fact that no president of the United States has ever been convicted by the senate after having been impeached by the House of Representatives cannot be construed as proof of innocence of wrongdoing by those presidents. It simply means that the senate considers that any such wrongdoings, if indeed they were any, were not sufficiently important to justify removal of the president from office.

Bill Clinton’s acquittal by the senate after having been indicted by the House of Representatives on the charge of perjury and obstruction of justice illustrates this. Clinton had sworn on oath that he had never had a sexual relationship with a White House female staff member. His declaration under oath was later proven to be false by a DNA test.

Despite this, the senate found Clinton innocent of the charge of perjury and obstruction of justice – in a bipartisan decision. He remained in office and served out his term as president of the United States of America.

[Article 2, Section 4 of the Constitution states that the “President, Vice President and all civil Officers of the United States, shall be removed from Office on Impeachment for, and Conviction of, Treason, Bribery, or other high Crimes and Misdemeanors”]

It is with this in mind that I formulated my reply to your question : « Which former Presidents would you say met these high and exacting standards? [of integrity and respect] ».

As my knowledge of the 45 presidents was insignificant, the best I could do was to rely on the sacrosanct principle of the “presumption of innocence” and consider that the other 41 presidents accomplished their mission with all the integrity and respect associated with such a high office.

.
Posted by Banjo Paterson, Saturday, 15 February 2020 1:55:42 AM
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#Banjo

You state:
"The fact that no president of the United States has ever been convicted by the senate after having been impeached by the House of Representatives cannot be construed as proof of innocence of wrongdoing by those presidents. It simply means that the senate considers that any such wrongdoings, if indeed they were any, were not sufficiently important to justify removal of the president from office."

Trump was charged with abuse of power and obstruction of Congress. The Senate acquitted him of both charges. Game set and match. Get on with life and accept the verdict. It might be galling to you that the President was acquitted but any legal system can only work successfully if the verdict of the court is accepted until it is overruled.

By your standards then - Trump is entitled to claim that he is meeting the high standards of integrity and respect expected of him - as demanded by you.

He is also entitled to hear you affirming that he enjoys the continuing presumption of innocence until proved guilty.
Posted by david singer, Saturday, 15 February 2020 5:55:39 AM
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.

Dear Shadow Minister,

.

You wrote :

« The Democrats poisoned the process with its blatantly partisan kangaroo court impeachment. »

You already wrote that on another thread, Shadow Minister, and I already replied to it … But as, apparently, you have forgotten my response, I submit it to you, hereunder, once more, for your consideration :

« The Republicans all voted against indictment – as one man. But not all Democrats voted in favour of indictment. Three voted against it. What does that signify ? That it was a partisan vote ? On the Republican side, perhaps. On the Democrat side, perhaps also – though there is no tangible evidence of a partisan vote by the Democrats.
How can we decide for sure if it was partisan or not ? Is it possible for a vote to be unanimous or quasi-unanimous without it being partisan ?

Yes, it can. Even in politics, votes can be unanimous without being partisan, e.g., in 2003, George W. Bush signed the Prison Rape Elimination Act, passed with unanimous “bipartisan” support. So if it is not the unanimity or quasi-unanimity of the vote that distinguishes partisanship (“partisanism” in the US), then what does ?

For the OED, the adjective “partisan” means “prejudiced in favour of a particular cause”. The Merriam-Webster adds : “… if you're accused of being too partisan, or of practicing partisan politics, it means you're mainly interested in boosting your own party and attacking the other one”.

In other words, expression of “political prejudice” can reveal partisan behaviour – in this case, partisan voting.

This is clearly the case in the voting intentions of the Republicans in the up-coming Senate trial. The Senate Majority Leader, Mitch McConnell, declared that Trump will be acquitted by the Republican-led Senate: "We will have a largely partisan outcome", he said and added :

« I'm not an impartial juror. This is a political process. There is not anything judicial about it. Impeachment is a political decision ».

.

(Continued …)

.
Posted by Banjo Paterson, Saturday, 15 February 2020 9:04:39 AM
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.

(Continued …)

.

There was no such declaration on the part of the Democrats in relation to the House inquiry vote – nor in relation to the up-coming Senate vote.

However, it’s not difficult to imagine that the Democrat vote in the House (where they hold a comfortable majority), in favour of indictment, was, perhaps, partly in reaction to the fact that Trump withheld documentary evidence and prevented key witnesses from testifying at the inquiry. This could only have had a negative effect on even the most impartial of voters.

Please correct me if I am wrong, Shadow Minister, but I honestly don’t think there is any tangible evidence of partisan voting by the Democrats – which, of course, does not mean that there wasn’t any, but simply that there is no evidence of it. »

.
Posted by Banjo Paterson, Saturday, 15 February 2020 9:06:35 AM
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.

Dear David,

.

You wrote :

1. « Trump was charged with abuse of power and obstruction of Congress. The Senate acquitted him of both charges. Game set and match. Get on with life and accept the verdict. It might be galling to you that the President was acquitted but any legal system can only work successfully if the verdict of the court is accepted until it is overruled. »

I have no problem with that, David, any more than I have with the senate acquitting Bill Clinton. I think both men were “saved” by what were perceived as favourable results obtained during their tenure in office up to the date of their trial.

A major difference between the two trials, however, was that during the 105th Congress, under President Bill Clinton's administration, both chambers of Congress (House and Senate) had a Republican majority. Whereas, during the 116th Congress under President Donald Trump’s administration, the House had a Democrat majority and the Senate a Republican majority.

As I indicated in my previous post to you, David, the acquittal of Bill Clinton was a bipartisan decision, whereas the acquittal of Donald Trump was, on the contrary, a partisan vote – with only one Republican, Senator Mitt Romney of Utah, braking with his party and voting in favour of the first article of impeachment (abuse of power), supporting the effort to remove the president.
.

2. « He [Donald Trump] is also entitled to hear you affirming that he enjoys the continuing presumption of innocence until proved guilty »

That, normally, would be my natural reaction, as you rightly suggest. However, as I pointed out in my previous post to you, in deciding to acquit Bill Clinton in a bipartisan decision, the US Senate obviously considered that the nature of the initial “wrongdoings”, the proximate cause, that triggered Clinton’s impeachment trial, were not sufficiently important to justify removing him from office.

Clinton’s declaration under oath was proven to be false by a DNA test. Perjury had clearly been established. Therefore, presumption of innocence does not follow from Senate acquittal.

.
Posted by Banjo Paterson, Saturday, 15 February 2020 10:46:58 AM
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Banjo

With regards partisanship:

Democrats had been calling for impeachment from the time Trump was elected,
-100% of those prosecuting the impeachment were democrats,
-100% of those defending the president were republicans,
-100% of the republicans voted against impeachment,
-100% of those that voted for impeachment were democrats,

I think that you would struggle to find a more clear cut case of partisanship.

Proof that the entire process was chronically biased included:

-Secret hearings were held that excluded republicans defenders, from which anti Trump snippets were leaked,
-Not one witness or document had first hand evidence directly linking Trump's decision to halt aid with Ukraines help with investigating Biden,

If the impeachment hearing was a court of law both articles would have been thrown out.
Posted by Shadow Minister, Sunday, 16 February 2020 7:51:07 AM
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.

Dear Shadow Minister,

.

You keep going back over old ground. I already replied twice to your insistent claim that the Trump enquiry by the House of Representatives was a purely partisan affair.

Perhaps it was, perhaps it wasn’t. Instead of simply repeating your initial claim over and over again, I suggest you read, or re-read, my previous post to you on this thread and indicate the specific points on which you disagree and explain why you disagree. That way we might be able to make some progress together.

Otherwise, I think it is pointless to continue this discussion. We are just turning around in circles.

As for the last two points on your post ...

« - Secret hearings were held that excluded republicans defenders, from which anti Trump snippets were leaked,

- Not one witness or document had first hand evidence directly linking Trump's decision to halt aid with Ukraines help with investigating Biden » :

... it has been largely reported that :

1. 48 House Republicans were invited to participate in all 17 House Impeachment Inquiry Depositions — many chose not to :

http://www.americanprogressaction.org/issues/democracy/news/2020/01/24/176422/48-house-republicans-invited-participate-17-house-impeachment-inquiry-depositions-many-chose-not/

2. Trump withheld documentary evidence and prevented key witnesses from testifying at the inquiry :

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ck-9NGWuTBI

It's surprising that you ignore these two facts - or do you simply discount them because they are unfavourable to your cause ?

.
Posted by Banjo Paterson, Monday, 17 February 2020 1:16:43 AM
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Banjo,

Firstly, I agree that debating whether the issue of partisanship is pointless when patently self evident to all but the most self deluded.

Secondly with regards the depositions, it is the right of the defendants team to choose who attends, not the whim of the prosecution. The "stunt" as you refer to it was when the president's legal representatives tried to attend one of these depositions and Schiff etc scuttled off demonstrating the inherent bias of these events.

Finally, in any trial civil or criminal, a defendant is entitled to challenge subpoenas for material or witnesses that might reveal legally privileged information. The house democrats had the option to pursue this through the courts but chose not to thus relinquishing their claim to the documents or information.

Had the democrats at least attempted to follow due process they might not have antagonised the republican congressmen, and if they had taken the time to contest Trump's claims of legal privilege, they might have obtained some or all of the documents and witnesses they wanted.

Instead they ran a kangaroo court and presented impeachment articles to senate based on flimsy evidence and expected the senate to do the work that they failed to do with inevitable results.

The biggest loser is Biden whose support has tanked, and Sanders wins the nomination, Trump's election is vastly more likely.
Posted by Shadow Minister, Monday, 17 February 2020 3:18:03 AM
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.

Dear Shadow Minister,

.

You wrote :

« … I agree that debating whether the issue of partisanship is pointless when patently self evident to all but the most self deluded »
.

Appearances can be misleading, Shadow Minister. Until the fifth century BC it was “self-evident to all but the most self-deluded” that the earth was flat. Pythagoras and Parmenides were the first to perceive it as it really is : spherical. Admittedly, that required a special effort of observation, analysis and perspicacity – of which not everybody was capable.

In my view, a major flaw in the US impeachment system, brought to light by both the Clinton and Trump trials, is the automaticity of the removal from office of the president if he is found guilty. If verdict and sentence could be decided separately, each on its own merits, as in the criminal justice system, Clinton and Trump could possibly have been found guilty without necessarily having to be removed from office.

In deciding to acquit Bill Clinton in a bipartisan decision, the US Senate obviously considered that the fact that he had committed perjury was not sufficiently important to justify removing him from office. To avoid removal, the senate declared him innocent of the perjury of which he was guilty.

Similarly, for Donald Trump, many Republican senators admitted that they considered his actions were “inappropriate” but not bad enough to warrant his removal from office. Their vote in the senate may have been different if a guilty verdict did not automatically result in his removal from office.

Even one of Trump’s lawyers, Robert Ray, declared when addressing the senate :

« I know that many of you may come to conclude, or may have already concluded, that the call was less than perfect », referring to the president’s July 25 call with the Ukrainian president – and which he (Trump) had repeatedly described as “perfect”.

.
Posted by Banjo Paterson, Tuesday, 18 February 2020 2:10:27 AM
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Banjo,

That is a stupid example as anyone that was on a ship knew that the earth curved, and there is no underlying factor that would indicate that the impeachment was anything other than partisan on both sides.

That Bill Clinton committed a crime is not in dispute. That Trump abused his position is highly likely but unproven. That this was an all stakes impeachment that had zero chance of success was entirely due to the democrats trying to use this process to smear Trump.

That it failed miserably is also not in doubt.
Posted by Shadow Minister, Tuesday, 18 February 2020 5:13:04 AM
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.

Dear Shadow Minister,

.

You wrote :

« That is a stupid example as anyone that was on a ship knew that the earth curved, and there is no underlying factor that would indicate that the impeachment was anything other than partisan on both sides »
.

Here is an article on the belief that the earth was flat :

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Flat_Earth

Also, allow me to remind you, once again, that I already indicated many times that there is no evidence that the Democrat votes were partisan. Whereas, there is evidence that the Republican vote in the Senate was.

To save you looking it up, here it is again :

« The Republicans all voted against indictment – as one man. But not all Democrats voted in favour of indictment. Three voted against it. What does that signify ? That it was a partisan vote ? On the Republican side, perhaps. On the Democrat side, perhaps also – though there is no tangible evidence of a partisan vote by the Democrats.

How can we decide for sure if it was partisan or not ? Is it possible for a vote to be unanimous or quasi-unanimous without it being partisan ?

Yes, it can. Even in politics, votes can be unanimous without being partisan, e.g., in 2003, George W. Bush signed the Prison Rape Elimination Act, passed with unanimous “bipartisan” support. So if it is not the unanimity or quasi-unanimity of the vote that distinguishes partisanship (“partisanism” in the US), then what does ?

.

(Continued …)

.
Posted by Banjo Paterson, Tuesday, 18 February 2020 8:06:36 AM
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.

(Continued …)

.

For the OED, the adjective “partisan” means “prejudiced in favour of a particular cause”. The Merriam-Webster adds : “… if you're accused of being too partisan, or of practicing partisan politics, it means you're mainly interested in boosting your own party and attacking the other one”.

In other words, expression of “political prejudice” can reveal partisan behaviour – in this case, partisan voting.

This is clearly the case in the voting intentions of the Republicans in the up-coming Senate trial. The Senate Majority Leader, Mitch McConnell, declared that Trump will be acquitted by the Republican-led Senate: "We will have a largely partisan outcome", he said and added :

« I'm not an impartial juror. This is a political process. There is not anything judicial about it. Impeachment is a political decision ».

There was no such declaration on the part of the Democrats in relation to the House inquiry vote – nor in relation to the up-coming Senate vote.

However, it’s not difficult to imagine that the Democrat vote in the House (where they hold a comfortable majority), in favour of indictment, was, perhaps, partly in reaction to the fact that Trump withheld documentary evidence and prevented key witnesses from testifying at the inquiry. This could only have had a negative effect on even the most impartial of voters.

Please correct me if I am wrong, Shadow Minister, but I honestly don’t think there is any tangible evidence of partisan voting by the Democrats – which, of course, does not mean that there wasn’t any, but simply that there is no evidence of it. »

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Posted by Banjo Paterson, Tuesday, 18 February 2020 8:09:57 AM
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Banjo,

That the democrats in the house and senate voted almost to a man to impeach and the republicans voted almost to a man against impeachment is as close to absolute proof as you will ever get. Virtually nothing goes through either chamber with the vote so clearly delineated along party lines.

If you chose to reject the incontrovertible evidence right in front of you, you are convincing no one either of your logic or ability to reason.

The end result of this show trial is that Trump's approval ratings have shot up and Pocahontas and Biden are crashing out, and the leading dem candidates are Sanders who will get thrashed by Trump and Buttgrabber who is the mayor of a one horse town.
Posted by Shadow Minister, Tuesday, 18 February 2020 9:56:36 AM
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.

Dear Shadow Minister,

.

You wrote :

« That the democrats in the house and senate voted almost to a man to impeach and the republicans voted almost to a man against impeachment is as close to absolute proof as you will ever get. Virtually nothing goes through either chamber with the vote so clearly delineated along party lines »

As I have argued and explained so many times, Shadow Minister – the truth of which you have never denied – numbers, even unanimity, alone, is not “proof” of partisan vote.

The fact that you are inclined to think that it is “proof” is no more than your own wishful thinking. It is simply a sign that it may, perhaps, be partisan vote. More precise information is required in order to determine if it is partisan vote or not.

I commend you, once more, to my previous detailed explanation.

.
Posted by Banjo Paterson, Tuesday, 18 February 2020 4:19:02 PM
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Banjo,

The "proof" of the pudding is in the eating. 100% bipartisan would be where all parties vote exactly the same and 100% partisan would be where parties vote differently strictly according to party lines. However, it is not a binary option.

Given that 100% of republicans voted one way and 99% of democrats voted the other way, perhaps you would be happier if I said that the vote was 99% partisan?

However, it is clearly a long long way from being bipartisan.
Posted by Shadow Minister, Wednesday, 19 February 2020 11:20:05 AM
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.

Shadow Minister,

.

You wrote :

« 100% bipartisan would be where all parties vote exactly the same and 100% partisan would be where parties vote differently strictly according to party lines »
.

Yes, Shadow Minister, I had imagined that scenario and I gave it some thought. The problem is that in the case in hand, as I already indicated, while there was no tangible evidence of a partisan vote by the democrats against Donald Trump, the Republicans, for their part, clearly announced their intention to make a partisan vote in his favour.

The Senate Majority Leader, Mitch McConnell, declared that Trump would be acquitted by the Republican-led Senate: "We will have a largely partisan outcome", he said and added :

« I'm not an impartial juror. This is a political process. There is not anything judicial about it. Impeachment is a political decision ».

There was no such declaration on the part of the Democrats – neither in relation to the House inquiry vote, nor in relation to the vote at the Senate trial.

But, as I already pointed-out, that does not mean that the Democrat vote was not also partial. Perhaps it was. Perhaps it wasn’t. We simply have no way of knowing. Numbers alone is not a significant indicator of partisan politics. A partisan vote is a vote in favour of perceived party interests as opposed to a free, conscience vote by each individual voter.

We have no way of knowing which of the two factors, conscience or party, was the motivator of their vote. Perhaps it was both.

Whatever the case, I see no logical reason why a free, conscience vote could not, on some particularly important issues, produce exactly the same number of votes, for either or both parties, as a purely partisan vote (the same or different).

As I see it, the Democrats voted freely or partisanly (or both) to indict Trump and the Republicans voted partisanly not to remove him from office (irrespective of his guilt or innocence of the charges brought against him by the Democrats).

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Posted by Banjo Paterson, Thursday, 20 February 2020 12:48:27 AM
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Banjo,

Why are you trying to convince me that 2+2=5?

McConnell was merely stating the obvious, as had been stated in many op eds for months.

The definitive proof of democratic partisanship is their voting on the second article of impeachment where Trump was impeached for using entirely legal steps to protect legally privileged information.

You have convinced no one.
Posted by Shadow Minister, Thursday, 20 February 2020 3:12:56 AM
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.

Dear Shadow Minister,

.

I'm sorry if you thought I was trying to convince you of something.

As always, whatever the subject on this forum, I was expressing my argumented opinion as clearly and as comprehensibly as I am capable.

By bouncing my ideas and opinions off an interlocutor, it helps me to formulate them and adjust or modify them where necessary. Of course, the forum is also often a good source of information.

I have been frequenting this forum long enough to realise that nobody ever changes his or her opinion.

I think we have come to the end of the line on this one, Shadow Minister and, if you don't mind, I shall now sign off.

All the best,

.
Posted by Banjo Paterson, Thursday, 20 February 2020 4:03:23 AM
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Banjo,

To change anyone's opinion one needs to present a cogent argument, simply stating one's opinion never will.
Posted by Shadow Minister, Thursday, 20 February 2020 11:09:50 AM
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