Friday, June 28, 2019

Last Call For The Reach To Impeach, Con't

Rhode Island Congressman Ted Kennedy III is the latest blue-state, safe-district Democrat to openly support an impeachment inquiry, as the push to change America's mind continues.

Congressman Joe Kennedy III announced Friday he now supports opening an impeachment inquiry against President Trump, becoming one of the most high-profile House Democrats yet to break with Speaker Nancy Pelosi on the charged question.

Kennedy, D-Mass., revealed his change of heart during a taping of WPRI 12’s Newsmakers. He said he saw no other choice based on the findings of special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation, arguing the report clearly shows Trump committed obstruction of justice.

“Times have changed and I think Congress has to begin those impeachment proceedings,” Kennedy said during the interview.

“I know it’s divisive, I know there are strong feelings about this, but I believe that when you have a president that’s willfully broken the law repeatedly to try to evade justice for various illegal acts, Congress has to hold him accountable,” he said.

A White House spokesperson offered no response on the record to Kennedy’s comments.

Pelosi has spent months warning House Democrats that impeachment proceedings are a treacherous political path that could strengthen Trump in the run-up to the 2020 presidential election. But she has faced increasing resistance from the party’s left flank. Congressman David Cicilline, D-R.I., has already come out in support of an impeachment inquiry.
Kennedy said Pelosi is right about the politics, but added, “I’m not sure it matters. … It’s time to step up and execute the oath we swore to take — to protect the Constitution and protect the country.” He also said he hadn’t told Pelosi about his position yet. 

The trick here is of course that there are no Democrats going from the position to open an impeachment query back to "well, no, Trump has to get away from this."  Eventually it will reach critical mass.

I hope, anyway.  All of Joe's arguments are correct.

Why #MeToo Doesn't Work On Trump

You can't splatter a pig with mud and expect the pig to be upset about it, after all.  Accusations of sexual assault against Donald Trump by over a dozen women simply doesn't matter.

“What was she, like, the 28th or something?” one former White House official pondered to me. In a separate conversation, another offered a different guess: “Twenty-two? Twenty-three?”

They were talking about E. Jean Carroll, the longtime Elle advice columnist who, for the first time last week, publicly accused Donald Trump of assaulting her in a Bergdorf Goodman dressing room more than 20 years ago. And what they were trying to do was locate the latest number of women who have accused the president of sexual misconduct. (The answer: at least 22.)

For these former officials, the apparently incalculable magnitude of this number did not cause them to reconsider Trump’s every denial of the varied allegations—to wonder, for example, about the likelihood that 22 or 23 or 28 women were all lying in their stories of harassment, groping, unwanted kissing, and, in Carroll’s case, sexual assault.

Rather, for them, the increase in the number of women seemed to mirror the increase in their indifference. Another accusation, they seemed to say, was like another dollop of numbing cream. “I didn’t read it,” the second former official told me, referring to Carroll’s written account in New York, which was an excerpt from her forthcoming book. “We’re just kind of numb to it all at this point.”

One current White House official said that “the only thing” that “caught my eye” was Trump’s dismissal of Carroll’s claim. Speaking to reporters from The Hill on Monday, the president addressed her allegation from behind the Resolute desk: “I’ll say it with great respect: No. 1, she’s not my type. No. 2, it never happened. It never happened, okay?”

“Like, what are you gonna do?” the official said. “This is the guy you got.”

Only one of the half-dozen officials I spoke to, who currently work in or have worked in the White House and on the Trump campaign, had read Carroll’s essay, and none agreed to go on the record with their comments. Taken together, the officials’ quick willingness to dismiss the allegation, not to mention their disinterest in learning more, reflects several of the defining factors of the Trump administration: an under-siege mentality, distrust in the press, and an unwavering loyalty to the president they’ve aligned themselves with. But there’s another reason their assessment is noteworthy. The private reactions of Trump’s top allies reveal how, inside the president’s orbit, the gravity of words such as sexual assaultno longer seems to register. And that attitude—call it a collective shrug—could inform how the government responds to sexual-misconduct claims for, potentially, the next six years.

If you can't get the country to respond to sexual assault by the man in the Oval Office (and no, don't bring up Bill Clinton, because there was a response to him and it was impeachment) then nobody's going to care. Sexual assault is now 100% okay if you're powerful enough.

I know that's always been true, but having that confirmed is pretty grim.

Certainly House Democrats don't seem to care about rectifying it.

The Mask Slips Once Again

And this time, it's Trump's boss, Vladimir Putin, who lets slip the truth about where he is taking America.

Vladimir Putin has trumpeted the growth of national populist movements in Europe and America, crowing that liberalism is spent as an ideological force.
In an FT interview in the Kremlin on the eve of the G20 summit in Osaka, Japan, the Russian president said “the liberal idea” had “outlived its purpose” as the public turned against immigration, open borders and multiculturalism.
Mr Putin’s evisceration of liberalism — the dominant western ideology since the end of the second world war in 1945 — chimes with anti-establishment leaders from US president Donald Trump to Hungary’s Viktor Orban, Matteo Salvini in Italy, and the Brexit insurgency in the UK.
“[Liberals] cannot simply dictate anything to anyone just like they have been attempting to do over the recent decades,” he said.
Mr Putin branded Chancellor Angela Merkel’s decision to admit more than 1m refugees to Germany, mainly from war-ravaged Syria, as a “cardinal mistake”. But he praised Donald Trump for trying to stop the flow of migrants and drugs from Mexico.
“This liberal idea presupposes that nothing needs to be done. That migrants can kill, plunder and rape with impunity because their rights as migrants have to be protected.”
He added: “Every crime must have its punishment. The liberal idea has become obsolete. It has come into conflict with the interests of the overwhelming majority of the population.” 

Normally, I'd be happy to see a Russian autocrat gangster like Putin get his comeuppance from an American president putting Putin's cynical proto-fascism into the dumpster, but our own leaders are also autocrat gangsters, and they like what they see in Putin's philosophy, a country of one-third of a billion people ruled by a handful of petty tyrants.

Putin sees a world where countries cower from might and the strong rule all.

In 2019, he's not wrong.


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