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Just a reminder, the house vote on impeachment wasnt even supported by all democrats. 2 democrats voted against it and all republicans voted against it. They couldnt even get support from democrats and they knew damn well they couldnt get support for 2/3 of the senate.

I hate trump and want him out of office as much as anyone, but the impeachment caused me to loose all respect for democrats.

It looks more like a desperate attempt to manipulate the 2020 election and win, rather than any real attempt at impeachment. Sad thing is they probably hurt their cause more than helped. I know I have lost what little respect for the democrats I had despite my hatred of trump.

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@freemo

I was just thinking about this. Knowing that he's going to be acquitted by the Senate, and that he might benefit, electorally speaking, from claiming that he was exonerated, it didn't make much sense to me.

I think the Democrats are already pretty confident of winning the presidency - they lost by only 50k votes (combined margin in Pennsylvania and Michigan, which together would have been enough to flip the Electoral College) and they can expect pretty much anyone they have currently in the race to outperform Clinton. They aren't really trying to remove the president, or to weaken him in the next election.

My guess is that this is actually a move to improve their chances of retaking the Senate. If Trump loses his reelection bid as they predict, it's likely that his supporters at trial will also take a hit at the polls, so the Democrats want to force the Republican senators to link their fates to the president's. They're specifically targetting seats in Maine, Colorado, North Carolina, and Iowa. With those four seats and the vice presidency, they would control the Senate even while losing Alabama.

Even if they only pick up a couple, it would put the Republicans in a tough situation in 2022, when they must defend swing states of Pennsylvania, Wisconsin, Florida, Iowa, North Carolina, Ohio, and Arizona. Opposing Obama helped the Republicans gain more seats, but now as the ones they won in 2014 and 2016 come back up for reelection, they mightn't have enough support anymore to retain them.

@khird So the first part.. when you say "it didnt make much sense to me".. . depends on your goal. If your goal is to have a vote on the issue and come to a democratic conclusion then it makes a lot of sense. Winning shouldnt be your goal, arriving at truth should be. Seeing as they couldnt even get democrat support for the impeachment, let alone bipartisan support, their case would appear rather weak, and they know it.

As for the democrats winning presidency, I'm not so sure. Yes they came close to winning the last election, but that isnt really a measure of their chance of winning this one. Trumps Approval rating just before impeachment was above that of even Obama's. So knowing that it seems clear to me the impeachment was a desperate act to change that. Now that the they dropped the ball on the impeachment I dont think they did themselves any favors really.

I dunno it looks to me like the democrats are a sinking ship and just grasping at straws to win at this point. In the long run i think it will hur tthem more than help.

@freemo how can you look at that and blame the democrats and not blame republicans for being just as arbitrarily biased due to party lines? Trump clearly did something wrong, it would be totally absurd for no one to try to call him out officially on it. I would be way more chilled to the bone if no one raised a finger to try to bring him to trial and just let him do all of this insanity without any consequence. Absolutely nuts to blame democrats for this, even if they are politicking, as they are not unique and trump is doing shady stuff regardless.

@ae WEll several points.

First and this is fundemental, I dont think its as clear taht trump did something wrong as you suggest. In short he asked the ukranian president if there is any legitimate evidence that Biden committed crimes, he did not ask nor suggest that the ukrain fabricate these crimes in any way, only if evidence existed.

How is that "clearly" something he did wrong? While I do think he should have probably deferred that to someone else so it wouldnt have the drama associated with it, he also probably thought he was more likely to get cooperation coming from him as the president.

Considering he didnt ask anyone to fabricate or make up anything and was only asking for legitimate evidence of crime, I'm not sure what it is that he really did wrong in the first place.

Furthermore the democrats were unable to get even support with their own party. While not a single republican voted to support the impeachment several democrats voted against the impeachment and one even switched their affiliated party in in response shortly after the vote.

They knew they couldnt even get democrat support, they knew they sure as hell wouldnt get republican support, they knew from the begining they would never stand a chance of getting 2/3rds support. So why even waste our time, and now that they did they prevent it from going to the senate for fear they might loose? If that is the vote that is the vote, the house has no power nor right to control the senate case. IF their going to loose so be it at least then we see the impeachment for what it was, a three ring circus and a desperate attempt for the democrats to try to win the 2020 election when it wasnt looking very good for them at the time.

@freemo I understand that you think it is a farce and a power play just for politicking and for democrats to compete in 2020. And I see how that could absolutely be the case, I am cynical and the last impeachment was exactly as you just described, so would be par for the course. But while I do not think just because it is common belief it makes it right, I think it is important for someone with such cynical views as your own to remember that your perspective on the events is the minority view, and regardless of congressional votes, most people think what is happening is warranted. The majority can often be wrong, but it's important when you are describing what amounts to a conspiracy requiring giving the benefit of the doubt to a man who has been famously corrupt and manipulative his entire life, that maybe the minority position is the minority for a reason. The average person on the street is more likely to view the acts you described as fishy and wrong than not, and while I personally wouldn't put much weight on the average person for most opinions, it's just something to keep in mind that most people think donald trump is acting selfishly with corrupt motives for his own personal benefit and to the detriment of the country.

But to the actual actions of donald trump. Not only is it not his job to investigate bank employees in foreign countries, if the outcome of the investigation personally benefits him and makes an election process less fair, it is illegal, and there is evidence that the way that trump approached it was in fact illegal, which is why he is being taken to trial. He specifically asked for Ukraine to announce publicly that they were investigating a Biden, and this is really crucial. Because if Trump just wanted to end corruption, at no point does it require announcing an investigation before it has begun or found any evidence. The whole announcement think makes it clear Trump was not pursuing it to make the world a better place, but specifically to make him look good and make the Bidens look bad, which is the fictional villain stuff of comic books, or how crappy politicians (historically) manipulate elections. Barring that one aspect I almost would be as cynical as you, maybe Trump just came across some info in his position of power and wanted to use his knowledge and reach to make sure the problem was fixed. He didn't ask anyone to fabricate anything, he asked them to announce the investigation into the family of his #1 political opponent without any evidence discovered at all, which is, when you think about it, very similiar, at least as far as mass media and political outcome is concerned.

You leave out the one republican (Amash) that switched to independent to support trump's impeachment, so both the republicans and democrats had one defector.

What makes it hard is that it really is a dicey game. Some 30% of the population will absolutely not support you if you go against Trump, even if he shot someone on 5th avenue. Completely nixing 30% of the population is practically political suicide, so as a professional politician one would have to think long and hard to do anything publicly against trump, even if you have video evidence of him shooting down an unarmed person in the street. Even with that footage you lose any chance of support from a third of the country, it is a terribly dangerous move.

Democrats don't want to do it, because they are essentially centrists on the political spectrum, and hope they can get support from that 30% some day some way, but they figure they can risk it since that 30% they can never recover probably already were the 30% that would never vote for them. It is a hard decision for them because it's going to seem divisive and arbitrary and like they are trying to interfere with the election, and so they discuss it back and forth and almost don't even do it, but then eventually the phone calls and everything come out, which in their mind and the mind of more than 50% of the population, are condemning and sincerely show a man abusing his position of power, and (at least some of them) feel they have to do what's right, and have done the math and figured that 30% probably was a lost cause as far as earning their votes goes. So they go through with presenting the evidence that the president broke the law.

The republicans on the other hand *cannot afford to do anything* about trump shooting a person in the street. It is actual political suicide. More than half of their voters really like trump no matter what he does, so if they do anything to upset that base they cannot compete in politics anymore. They have literally no choice but to ignore trump shooting someone dead in the street. If they don't ignore it, they lose their jobs. It is a no brainer and does not take much thought. Some are thinking "I can't afford my mortgage or my kids education unless I do whatever it takes to keep my job, which is already in a precarious position as the entire planet moves away from conservatism." It's the last little island where a job like that can exist, and the world is changing so there may not be any other opportunities like it ever again. So of course you have no choice but to keep your job. I don't even blame them it's practically in the 10 commandments of capitalism that one sacrifice ones morals just to keep a job. I blame the system for forcing these poor men to ignore what I'm sure many of them know is explicit corruption just because they are too desperate to keep their positions in a world that is outgrowing them. You can see how that is not debatable right? The republicans don't just have more to lose if they try to prosecute Trump for shooting someone, they have *everything* to lose. Their hands are utterly tied. It's the downside of a two party system. While some republicans (maybe a majority even, who knows) think Trump is innocent and the whole impeachment is a farce, there is no doubt there are men there that think Trump is corrupt and deserves a trial, but they cannot do anything. They are trapped, their freedom totally squashed due to party politics. You *must* be able to imagine how that *could* be true, and how likely it is that at least one republican in the house would have voted for impeachment if they were totally free to do so. And how the same is not as true for the dems voting against impeachment, as they are not in as much as a sticky situation and so are not as pressured to vote on party lines? Of course it's mirrored on both sides, but the numbers are plain as day: democrats felt more free to vote sincerely, they had more variety in their votes than the repubs. I don't see how you can look at the numbers and determine anything other than the republicans were voting for their own party exclusively while the democrats were voting with more open minds. nytimes.com/interactive/2019/1

I'm not big on politics but we interact on here and I saw your post and I had to say something. I don't believe you can consider all the facts and where all of these men are coming from and then put more of the "party line politics" blame on the dems over the republicans. If you consider the facts it is overwhelmingly clear that the gross politicking is much more heavily represented by the republicans who have much more to lose. And trust me, I completely see your point and a part of me thinks all the bastard politicians are to blame and both sides are guilty of being corrupt assholes, but if I have to get specific I find it extremely hard to see how the democrats are worse in this scenario.

@ae I appreciate your comments, no need to explain why you offered them, a difference of opinion is always fine.

A lot of your argument is appeal to majority. Thing is it is a very slim majority, only 52% of americans actually think the impeachment is justified, which is about the same division we see in congress.

Other point is, the division on impeachment is also almost entierly down partisan lines. What party you support, if you support a party (I do not) almost certainly decides what side you are on regarding the impeachment.

The truth is, I am an american citizen who fled the country because of extremism on both the left and the right, a result of extreme polarization in america both among its people and its politicians politically. So trying to glean objective reasoning from a society that has lost all sense of objectivity in all things is, well, lost on me.

Overall your counterargument, while well explained and impassioned, doesnt really make a very convincing argument. Trump **is** a liar and a cheat, I have no doubt he lies and cheats all the time. I also have no doubt there are legitimate reasons to impeach him and legitimate crimes he has commited in general, however the impeachment and the accusations currently in play simply speaking are not examples of valid reasons to impeach someone in my opinon and done more out of desperation from a loosing democratic party that was getting slaughtered in the polls at the time.

@freemo yeah the majority argument is just the first part, I actually should have just left it out as I don't even particularly agree with it myself, the very last part of my argument is the more legit argument: the numbers are clear: democrats did not exclusively vote down the party line while the republicans did, so your original claim is easy to counter. If anyone is voting strictly by party for gross politics it is the republicans while the democrats have voted more impartially. There is no argument there.

and calling for an investigation into your #1 political opponent I think is very dangerous and is a go-to device in phony regime toolbox, so I cannot imagine thinking it is a "desperate" move, especially when the democrats won by a massive margin in the last election, they have momentum on their side, while the republicans are in the much more sensitive position to lose power.

I don't see any evidence for your democrats being slaughtered in the polls, as they overwhelmingly came out on top in last (mid-term) election, and if using ones unique power to smear a political opponent (who does not have equal footing with which to respond or counteract) is not a clear offence against the security of our elections, then I doubt very much else is impeachable either.

I think if it turned out Trump was withholding money to a foreign country (using a unique power as leverage) for personal benefit it would be extortion. And extortion by the president is illegal in the constitution. And then the DAY the racket leaked Trump turned around and gave Ukraine the money it just reeks of guilt. So I disagree I guess fundamentally with your premise that in this instance the president without a doubt did not do something illegal. I find it hard to imagine anything worse than a president *seemingly* dangling a piece of land that Putin is *actively* trying to take over for something as small as to smear his #1 political opponent. It is so absurdly corrupt and dangerous I just can't understand how it should not at least be *investigated*. If you think that there should not be a trial to make sure that there wasn't an abuse of power, I just cannot wrap my head around your point of view. You don't think it should be investigated, just to be sure Trump didn't do what I just described seemingly happened? We should just assume the best and not look into it any more at all? That is baffling. All the house is calling for is a trial to look at the evidence impartially, to MAKE SURE there is no abuse of power. How can that, in any universe, be a bad idea?

You don't think we should make sure trump, who is famously corrupt, hasn't done something compromising? The house should have just let it go and move on and assume the best?

@freemo I support them in principle. The fact that they strongly suspect the senate won't accept the impeachment, doesn't change that they do as the constitution intended.
Also, I believe the fact that some democrats voted against the impeachment shows that the democratic party left the vote up to their representatives. I'm pretty sure the Republicans party put a lot more pressure on theirs. It's clear that any republican breaking the party line would end his career that very second.

@freemo Since some democrats were already suspected/known to vote against means any democrat had the liberty to do so as well without much additional stigma. Not so on the rep side.
I think you get my point.
I'm sure many republicans agreed that the events leading to impeachment happened and agreed that they are impeachable offenses. That they voted against the articles only shows they voted partisan and not in good faith.

@stevenroose Only two democrats crossed party lines and one of them switched from democrat to republican specifically as a result of the impeachment.

I'm not sure literally needing to leave your party paints the picture you suggest that the democrats were accepting of dissent...

@stevenroose @freemo I'm suspect of your conclusion. According to this site's[1] tracked polls, fewer than 10% of registered republican voters---upon who there's no party pressure---supported the impeachment. If that's accurate, then it seems plausible to me that many republican congresspeople, who are perhaps more likely than an average voter to interpret the impeachment as partisan politics, could vote against the impeachment in good faith.

[1] projects.fivethirtyeight.com/i

@stevenroose @freemo
I think the whole 'requirement' to vote according to party lines is a decease. (not just in the US)

If 'you' really believe so, then you should get rid of the whole representative democracy thingie and replace it with a (weighted) party vote system.

@FreePietje

I'd imagine the vast majority of america would love to do away with the two party system. Me personally I'd like to see parties as a whole disappear.

@stevenroose

@freemo
I can understand forming of parties as a way to division labor as you can't be an expert in all areas. But there surely are (potential) issues.

I think a 2 party system is toxic, like life/society is all black and/vs white. Consequently I like that we in .nl have so many parties.

@stevenroose

@FreePietje

It doesnt appear to me parties represent a division of expertise in any country I know of. I dont know anywhere that has a party of mathematicians or economists and another party of law experts or anything ike that (if that were the case I might see parties serving a function but it would all look very different).

Generally parties look more like religious affiliation. It tells you what dogma a person subscribes to a little else.

@stevenroose

@freemo
While math is an exact science, most things are not.
Let's take economics for example. When there is a recession (about to happen), you have one group that thinks we should cut spending, while another group wants to increase spending. Both positions have merits.

I haven't thought this entirely through, but I think we're too spastic when it comes to economic cycles and 'controlling' it and maybe we shouldn't increase or decrease based on the position in the cycle.

@stevenroose

@FreePietje Sure but that isnt examples of parties having expertise, those are examples of dogmatic principles.

What we need is not party line dogmatics of either not spending a penny or burning all our money on social programs. We need a nuanced approach where money is spent on some things selectively but not others.

Thats exactly why we need to do away with parties all together. We dont want the extremism dogma and parties lead to, we want people who are free to arrive at nuanced solutions which would fail under dogma.

@freemo You phrase this/these issue(s) in dogmas and (religious) extremism and I disagree with that.
At least in .nl, religious dogmas/extremism has (very) little effect on our politics. And I'm very glad about that.
Some people think social (security) programs are wrong and we should spend as little as possible on them. Others feel differently. I think in .nl all sides are reasonably represented and we form some middle ground.

That's all from me for this year/decade on this :)

@FreePietje In the NL that is true, and I often represent holland as a good example of reasonably sane politics. But that isnt thanks to parties it is despite it.

Holland would certainly do much better if it didnt have parties as can be seen by the botched sorts of reactionary laws that spring up.. IE shrooms are illegal but truffles which are no better (even higher risk) are legal. Weed has a similar half assed legal structure around it. In general we see the dogma parties bring at work in this, no nuanced well crafted middle ground laws. Just a compromise between two sets of dogmas.

@freemo We used to have a sane, pragmatic view wrt drugs and I'm saddened that we haven't progressed on that for a long time.
I hate the "drugs are bad, m'kay" line as it's wrong and stops critical thinking. Another argument I think is BS is what other countries may think of .nl. Fuck that. We should do what we think is right for our country.
This does indeed reek of dogma and religion. But I don't think it applies to all areas in .nl.

Agreed with your reactionary laws point. I don't like that.

@FreePietje I entierly agree that its bad to compare to other countries. Its one reason that even though i do think you guys are ahead of the game of the majority off countries in how you handle drugs it is still worthy of criticism. If i compared the netherlands to other countries we as a country are probably still ahead of most. I dont mean in terms of legalization but in terms of sympathy and treating drug abuse as a disease more than something to shame.

But i agree there are also a bunch of other ways we can say the netherlands is ahead, but again its not about if your ahead or not, its just about how much parties and dogma are in the way, and I think that is absolutely present here despite having a better grasp on it than most.

@FreePietje @freemo Can't be worse than Belgium. In our Federal election we have both Flemish and Wallon parties and if you're from either region you can't vote for parties of the other region. So we have everything double: greens, socialists, liberals, conservatives, communists, you name it, but times two. Logically we hold/held the world record for time without government, I think about 600 days. It's a disgrace.

@stevenroose Fair, but both parties voted more than 99% along party lines. Having 2 people disagree among hundreds isnt really a positive point

I was fine with the impeachment process up until they started playing dirty.

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