Impeachment Trial Begins
February 9, 2021 5:44 AM   Subscribe

"The Senate impeachment trial of former President Trump begins with arguments and a vote on the constitutionality of the trial. Opening arguments from the House impeachment managers and the former president’s defense team are expected to follow." Impeachment managers will seek to prove that his actions directly incited the insurrection. Charges related to the events of 1/6/21 are being filed against participants in the siege.
posted by MonkeyToes (1183 comments total) 63 users marked this as a favorite
 
...surely this?
posted by all about eevee at 5:44 AM on February 9 [39 favorites]




Thanks, MonkeyToes. I was wondering if we were sticking to the 77 Days thread or starting something new. It does seem, regardless of outcome, this is an important thread to keep separate.
posted by bcd at 5:52 AM on February 9 [2 favorites]


Haven't seen anyone point out how Republicans -- with their plans to acquit based on the flimsy argument that the trial itself is unconstitutional -- are in effect revealing they're now totally in support of jury nullification.
posted by nobody at 5:57 AM on February 9 [23 favorites]


I hope when I'm on trial for leading a cult that half the jury are my cult followers.
posted by adept256 at 6:03 AM on February 9 [108 favorites]


...surely this?

I feel like we've been saying this for four years now.
posted by tetsuo at 6:08 AM on February 9 [5 favorites]


I am fascinated by adept256's answer. I hope you guys find a way in the future to police a criminal president without the jury being stacked.
posted by b33j at 6:09 AM on February 9 [7 favorites]


Is it too late to add to the penalties the $500 million cost of activating the National Guard?
posted by wenestvedt at 6:14 AM on February 9 [12 favorites]


Rep. Eric Swalwell points out that in this case, the jury is actually made up of the victims of the crime:

I think the jurors as victims is the most unique thing you will ever see in a trial. Right? I mean, a Senate juror’s obviously different from a regular juror in that you don’t get to pick who you have on your jury. They self-selected by being in the Senate. But you’ve never seen a trial, would never see a trial, where the jurors are truly victims. That’s such a unique part of this.
posted by ejs at 6:19 AM on February 9 [23 favorites]


Almost amusingly, the Republicans want to throw dirt in the air by drawing attention to the fact that Rep. Swalwell was targeted, unsuccessfully, by a Chinese government espionage operation.
posted by PhineasGage at 6:25 AM on February 9 [1 favorite]


Lucy and the football, yet again.
posted by SansPoint at 6:25 AM on February 9 [8 favorites]


thanks MonkeyToes!
importing filings from 77 days thread for completeness/context:
house managers' impeachment trial brief
defendant's answer to charges
defendant's trial memorandum
house managers' replication
posted by 20 year lurk at 6:30 AM on February 9 [6 favorites]


I've been surprised by the lack of focus on his actions - or lack of actions - during the attack. The defense that he couldn't have predicted what his speech in the morning (or his previous 5 years of incitement) would have caused is wrong, but it has a veneer of plausibility for Senate Republicans to hide behind. But at any point during the afternoon, he could have called for an immediate end to the attack, and he waited for hours until making an half-hearted statement. I know it's part of the trial brief, but it doesn't seem to be getting the central attention it deserves. Does anyone know why?
posted by Mr.Know-it-some at 6:30 AM on February 9 [23 favorites]


The evidence buffet is such a wealth of choice it's difficult to guess where they'll begin. Though I hope they do use the NYT animation of the cell phone tracking data, which looks exactly like a fuse being lit at the White House that leads directly to the Capitol.
posted by adept256 at 6:38 AM on February 9 [21 favorites]


Good point, Mr.Know-it-some, I'm also interested in why a POTUS wasn't immediately evacuated during a riot. Presumably he refused. Implying that he, his security handlers, or both knew very well he wasn't in danger but was rather awaiting a coronation.
posted by Dashy at 6:38 AM on February 9 [21 favorites]


half the jury are my cult followers

the jury is actually made up of the victims of the crime

Tragically, for all, it doesn't dawn on cult-members that they are, indeed, primary victims.

ETA: In this cult, also victimizers.
posted by riverlife at 6:52 AM on February 9 [9 favorites]


I hope when I'm on trial for leading a cult that half the jury are my cult followers...

A jury comprised of victims and "peers".
posted by zerobyproxy at 6:52 AM on February 9 [1 favorite]


...surely this?
I feel like we've been saying this for four years now.


Closer to twenty, it's from the GWB days!
posted by jason_steakums at 7:19 AM on February 9 [50 favorites]


I'm also interested in why a POTUS wasn't immediately evacuated during a riot.

I don't understand the question. He was inside the White House, which was of course never a target of anyone on the 6th.
posted by Mr.Know-it-some at 7:19 AM on February 9


The people on the jury that are both victims and cult members is what is making my head hurt.
posted by double bubble at 7:21 AM on February 9 [11 favorites]


I agree that I would have expected that any breach of the Capitol during a riot would have triggered Secret Service protocols that don’t seem to have been bothered with on January 6th.
posted by double bubble at 7:23 AM on February 9 [24 favorites]


It's notable that the constitutional provision to bar someone from holding federal office can only be applied AFTER they have left federal office. In most cases this occurs by removing them from office by convicting them in the impeachment trial. The Republicans are grasping at the absurd argument that it should be impossible to use this congressional power if the defendant leaves office before conviction, even if they resign like Nixon did. Why? They are cowards who fear the wrath of their base and of El fantasma de Mar-a-Lago. And, for some of them, they fear a conviction of the President leads to the logical conclusion of their own guilt in conspiring with him to commit these high crimes.
posted by East Manitoba Regional Junior Kabaddi Champion '94 at 7:29 AM on February 9 [19 favorites]


And, for some of them, they fear a conviction of the President leads to the logical conclusion of their own guilt in conspiring with him to commit these high crimes.
I think that is a big issue in all of this. Though only a few of them actively encouraged the mob, nearly all Republicans conspired to keep Trump in office for all four years even though he was and is obviously unfit, definitely in violation of the emoluments clause and possibly in thrall to foreign powers.
posted by mumimor at 7:38 AM on February 9 [40 favorites]


house managers' replication

I swear that every time I read one of Trump's legal filings, I feel myself losing brain cells, but Jamie Raskin is really bringing the heat in replying to them. The experience dealing with Trump's nonsense in the E. Jean Carroll defamation litigation really helps.
posted by mikelieman at 7:59 AM on February 9 [7 favorites]


The people on the jury that are both victims and cult members is what is making my head hurt.

I would like to see each and every Republican sworn in to testify on whether (1) they believe the election was fixed, rigged, or stolen and (2) they believed their life and safety were at risk during the Republican insurrection.
posted by mikelieman at 8:03 AM on February 9 [18 favorites]


Unfortunately, if we recused all the jurors who participated in the crime, there mathematically wouldn't be enough remaining for a conviction.
posted by East Manitoba Regional Junior Kabaddi Champion '94 at 8:07 AM on February 9 [5 favorites]


and possibly in thrall to foreign powers.

This phrasing gave me goosebumps. Well said!
posted by valkane at 8:19 AM on February 9 [3 favorites]


Just as the founders intended?
posted by zerobyproxy at 8:19 AM on February 9


Unfortunately, if we recused all the jurors who participated in the crime, there mathematically wouldn't be enough remaining for a conviction.

The Constitution doesn't actually require 2/3rds of the whole Senate, just 2/3rds of those present. You can't actually bar the cultists from entering the chamber, but if you could, you could convict with the remainder.
posted by BungaDunga at 8:21 AM on February 9 [16 favorites]


A close reading of the founding documents shows the Fathers' strong disapproval of a presidential campaign coordinating with a foreign power to schedule dumps of hacked emails via a fugitive Australian trapped in the London Ecuadorean Embassy, so this would all be moot
posted by East Manitoba Regional Junior Kabaddi Champion '94 at 8:22 AM on February 9 [32 favorites]


I am in favor of this conscious effort to put elected GOP Senators on the record for continuing to support the reckless, incompetent, malevolence of Donald J Trump even now, knowing all that they know.
posted by philip-random at 8:25 AM on February 9 [14 favorites]


Is there any blow back in the maga crowd of the trump defense team’s assertion that the insurrection was planned by a “small group of criminals”? I would expect some of the more radical factions to be a little miffed at trump for denouncing them.
posted by double bubble at 8:31 AM on February 9 [6 favorites]


There is widespread denouncement of Trump among the followers of Q. (It's because he lost the election and failed to mount a successful coup d'etat.)
posted by East Manitoba Regional Junior Kabaddi Champion '94 at 8:33 AM on February 9 [4 favorites]


I always seem to live slightly to the left of reason, in a smoldering pocket of denial. It never ends. I've somehow transported from my dwelling in a subbasement in Pleasantville to Earth II, and I can't find my way back home.

I view the Senate trial with a different eye. This is not actually a court proceeding. There is no impartial judge, no rules of evidence, no penalty for perjury. The defendant doesn't have to show up for the trial. The Trump administration has demonstrated that the congressional subpoena is a mere suggestion. The jurors could vote before the trial and save the Senate a lot of time.

In its worst form, the primary outcome seems to be to tack a badge of shame on Trump. Really? That's going to affect him? Almost as an afterthought, the Senate (if party lines happen to intersect) can vote to bar Trump from holding any US office. That's good, but in this case, it only would intensify his standing with his cult. Besides, now that he doesn't have to pretend to have a job, he can concentrate on just being himself. The Senate may also remove his tax-payer funded bodyguards. That's good. Considering this situation in its totality, either way the Senate's vote happens to transpire, Trump comes out ahead. So, it's all bad. We lose. He has run his thimble-rigging game on us. His family, his previously failing corporate enterprises, have had their wealth increase by several hundred million dollars, he's created revenue with no end in sight. He's used his office to create a cult following that insures him of bottomless wealth for decades to come.

I applaud the Democrats for giving us the dog and pony show we've all been waiting for. I cannot help but watch it on my CSPAN channel--from beginning to end. My craving for abuse won't let me do otherwise. But I'll save that bottle of champagne for the criminal trials that I hope will plague this asshole, our 45th President, and his family for the next several administrations.
posted by mule98J at 8:36 AM on February 9 [30 favorites]


I agree with Mule, I can't help but feel that this impeachment is useless. Obviously he's guilty, but half the jury's political fortunes are resting on defending him to the death. If the R's didn't strap their fortunes so closely to his, then maybe you might get a situation where people change their minds based on evidence. But as it stands, the outcome is seeming to not represent anything resembling "law", but a reinforcement of reactionary partisanship. Like the Ukraine trial, it's nice "decency" theater for anyone not on Team Trump, but I can't see this yielding any consequences for the former president.
posted by Philipschall at 8:36 AM on February 9


I can't help but feel that this impeachment is useless.

I strongly believe that humans tend to illogically discount the risks of NOT doing something. There is no possibility of Trump being convicted. But what would it say, and what precedent would be used by future presidents, if he was not even impeached for trying to use the vast powers of his office to violently overthrow the constitutional democratic U.S. Government?
posted by East Manitoba Regional Junior Kabaddi Champion '94 at 8:39 AM on February 9 [94 favorites]


In summary: Trump not being convicted is bad. Trump not being impeached is worse. The least bad option is the good one.
posted by East Manitoba Regional Junior Kabaddi Champion '94 at 8:42 AM on February 9 [62 favorites]


There's a possibility that without the impeachment in his last days in office, he could have done something even worse. So whether the trial matters or not, the impeachment very well might have.
posted by BungaDunga at 8:42 AM on February 9 [14 favorites]


I'm very interested in reasonable opinions as to why, as is currently being reported, Democrats won't call witnesses in this trial. Not the "Democrats are self-defeating" reasons, I've got that well covered.

I'm reading about things like "White House officials say he watched with glee as the Capitol was breached". Why wouldn't you get as many people like that as possible in front of a camera, under oath?

I'm not coming into this trial thinking it's going to be anything but a bad outcome, but witnesses surely shouldn't hurt the prosecution's case here?
posted by mcstayinskool at 8:43 AM on February 9 [17 favorites]


I understand, Manitoba, but if anything this impeachment is showing the cracks in the impeachment process. It's good for actions to have consequences, but I worry that any future strongman's takeaway lesson from all this isn't that actions have consequences, but that impeachments can be broken along ideological lines to be rendered useless.
posted by Philipschall at 8:43 AM on February 9 [3 favorites]


Even after all this time and everything that has happened I'm somehow still amazed at the deference and due legal dilligence afforded to this obvious criminal and traitor to the nation. Nobody involved on the Republican side of this affair would be overly worried about what the Constitution says or doesn't say or would suggest moving on in the name of "unity" or whatever if this were the trial of, say, a young black man accused of stealing a chocolate bar.
posted by The Card Cheat at 8:46 AM on February 9 [27 favorites]


I worry that any future strongman's takeaway lesson from all this isn't that actions have consequences, but that impeachments can be broken along ideological lines to be rendered useless.

And what lesson would the future strongman take from the lack of any impeachment at all? An even worse lesson.
posted by East Manitoba Regional Junior Kabaddi Champion '94 at 8:47 AM on February 9 [13 favorites]


Give this trial a secret ballot, and they'll convict. Without a secret ballot, they will not.
posted by pwinn at 8:48 AM on February 9 [31 favorites]


Some donors have already stopped giving to Republicans who voted against validating the election. The same thing could happen to those who vote against conviction, especially if—further down the road—even more evidence of direct collaboration with the rioters comes to light.
posted by 1970s Antihero at 8:53 AM on February 9 [8 favorites]


Republican politicians can be wonderfully brave when they're certain no-one will find out about it
posted by East Manitoba Regional Junior Kabaddi Champion '94 at 8:53 AM on February 9 [15 favorites]


Like many interventions, this trial is both imperative and fruitless. Gotta try no matter what.
posted by mono blanco at 8:56 AM on February 9 [16 favorites]


Republican politicians: “Yeah, of course we have a problem with the President using a sustained treasonous lie to attempt to fraudulently overturn the election resulting in the incitement of armed goons to invade our place of work and construct a functional gallows with which to hang us, but, counterpoint: our supporters love that stuff and don’t want to feel like they’re bad people for loving it. So, what are you gonna do, 🤷‍♂️ gotta take the rough with the smooth I guess. 🤷‍♀️”
posted by East Manitoba Regional Junior Kabaddi Champion '94 at 9:03 AM on February 9 [10 favorites]


Impeachment is the only remedy. The Justice Department memo, which lays out the past reasoning of not prosecuting a sitting President for crimes, plays a very big role here. The "originalists" say we must follow the Constitution but maybe...maybe not always? Like, don't finish prosecuting the trial if the President leaves office? He's not accountable to impeachment justice now? The GOP logic knot is so tight, with new loops and tie-offs every day, that they cannot untie it
posted by zerobyproxy at 9:04 AM on February 9 [2 favorites]


I'm reading about things like "White House officials say he watched with glee as the Capitol was breached". Why wouldn't you get as many people like that as possible in front of a camera, under oath?

The Senate can't practically compel a recalcitrant witness to actually speak freely about what they saw Trump do on that day.

If they can actually find a WH official to agree to testify, they should call them. But it seems quite likely they haven't- after all, nobody has gone on the record about it with the same reporters they're happy to speak to on condition of anonymity. Cowards, all.
posted by BungaDunga at 9:19 AM on February 9 [7 favorites]


The Justice Department memo, which lays out the past reasoning of not prosecuting a sitting President for crimes, plays a very big role here.

President Ulysses S. Grant was arrested while in office for speeding in his horse-drawn carriage.

The original September 24, 1973 DOJ memo [PDF] was issued by Nixon's Department of Justice.

Lawfare: Indicting a President Is Not Foreclosed: The Complex History
posted by kirkaracha at 9:22 AM on February 9 [9 favorites]


Trump’s lawyers say he was immediately ‘horrified’ by the Capitol attack. Here’s what his allies and aides said really happened that day. The Washington Post
President Donald Trump was “horrified” when violence broke out at the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6, as a joint session of Congress convened to confirm that he lost the election, according to his defense attorneys.
Trump tweeted calls for peace “upon hearing of the reports of violence” and took “immediate steps” to mobilize resources to counter the rioters storming the building, his lawyers argued in a brief filed Monday in advance of Trump’s impeachment trial in the Senate. It is “absolutely not true,” they wrote, that Trump failed to act swiftly to quell the riot.
But that revisionist history conflicts with the timeline of events on the day of the Capitol riot, as well as accounts of multiple people in contact with the president that day, who have said Trump was initially pleased to see a halt in the counting of the electoral college votes. Some former White House officials have acknowledged that he only belatedly and reluctantly issued calls for peace, after first ignoring public and private entreaties to do so.
Black is white, up is down, truth is lie.
posted by mumimor at 9:22 AM on February 9 [37 favorites]


When I'm horrified at the world I sit and watch tv also...usually its Netflix though...
posted by zerobyproxy at 9:26 AM on February 9


This is a cartoon from January 2nd by the Michaelangelo of Qanon, Ben Garrison. I'm going to post his accompanying commentary in full because I think it provides useful context about just how predictable the events of January 6th were, and how knowingly complicit Trump and his enablers were in the crimes that occurred.
A Rendezvous With History

Save The Date!

Wednesday, January 6 is a red-letter day. I’m sure many have the date circled on their new calendars. Probably in red ink. Soon it could be circled in fire.

It’s a protest day for many Trump supporters. They’ll be in Washington D.C. to help the president in his quest for justice. The election was blatantly stolen by the Democrat Socialists. The evidence is overwhelming, but the corporate media, the courts, and many in Congress are content to be led by a corrupt and demented swamp and basement-dwelling pedophile, China Joe Biden.

The big question is, will Vice President Mike Pence come through for Trump and challenge the electoral votes in key states? Will he stop the steal? We will all soon know, but I have my doubts. If Pence sides with Biden, then he’ll go down in history as the second Benedict Arnold. Trump should then initiate the Insurrection Act and arrest them all for attempting a coup. After all, they were aided by China and other foreign operatives. Trump should hand Pence a second envelope that says, “You’re Fired.”* I hope I’m wrong about Pence, but I have my doubts about him. If he proves me wrong and sides with the president, I’ll be delighted.

January 6th can be a turning point in US history. It can be the day when patriots take not just a stand, but real action against the globalists who want a ‘great reset,’ which means America will live under a totalitarian system similar to communist China.

We don’t want a ’new normal’ that’s being forced upon us by tyrants. We want the regular constitutional normal. We The People want our Republic back.

Make America Great Again!

—Ben Garrison
* The President cannot, of course, fire the Vice President. He can, however, incite a mob to endanger the Vice President's life.
posted by East Manitoba Regional Junior Kabaddi Champion '94 at 9:26 AM on February 9 [14 favorites]


Non-USAian here. I get that Republican senators will vote to acquit largely out of terror at the prospect of being primaried by a red-hot MAGA type when next they come up for re-election, but is there any realistic prospect of them being challenged in the general election by serious never-Trump candidates running as independents and spoilers? Do the never-Trump faction of the GOP see a Democrat winning such a three-way race as a greater evil than the cowardly Republican getting another term?
posted by Epixonti at 9:26 AM on February 9 [2 favorites]


I'm somehow still amazed at the deference and due legal dilligence afforded to this obvious criminal

Let's look at the case of Jenny Cudd. She's a florist, an occupation I'm envious of. I'm sure it has it's mad days, she must be very busy before the 14th, and yet busier considering some recent legal woes. But at least she has her vacation time soon after, down in Mexico, international travel being so easy and guilt free these days.

Legal woes? Yeah, she was charged with violent entry to the ballpit at a Chuck E Cheese restuarant. Sorry! Let me check my notes, that was violent entry to the U.S. Capitol building. You may remember her yelling directions through a bullhorn at the mob inside. Yes, that was this florist.

She is full of contrition of course, stating 'We the Patriots did storm the U.S. Capitol' and 'yes, I would absolutely do it again.' Judge Trevor McFadden noting her clear Patriotism, granted her leave to go to Mexico on a working holiday with her florist colleagues. It's a work retreat, don't you know florists must gather abroad to debate arrangements and settle their differences in a tropical clime?

Judge McFadden is a Trump appointee, you may know him from Newsweek. Trump-Appointed Federal Judge Trevor McFadden Extends Deadline for Ex-President To Turn Over Tax Returns. That's him, he's the guy that blocked congress from looking at Trump's tax returns.

I'm somehow still amazed at the deference and due legal dilligence afforded to this obvious criminal

Jenny is white.
posted by adept256 at 9:27 AM on February 9 [62 favorites]


that gallows i've seen pictured was by no means functional. not saying it couldn't be used to maim or strangle, but not to hang.
posted by 20 year lurk at 9:28 AM on February 9


that gallows i've seen pictured was by no means functional.

Nevertheless, shouldn't we consider it as least as serious a threat as, e.g., a child playing with a toy gun?
posted by Faint of Butt at 9:33 AM on February 9 [45 favorites]


absolutely a threat.
posted by 20 year lurk at 9:33 AM on February 9 [4 favorites]


GOP is so lost to Trump that whatever evidence of his misdeeds comes out it won't make any difference.
posted by frankon at 9:37 AM on February 9 [2 favorites]


You have to lower your expectations of anything bad ever happening to a karma Houdini. He lost the election, he lost his beloved Twitter and he has two impeachments on his record. This may be as good as it ever gets, y'all.

We have to try for putting it on the record, even if it's pointless. At least that way he suffers a little.
posted by jenfullmoon at 9:38 AM on February 9 [7 favorites]


The gallows like everything else is a joke or a metaphor or a creative political expression until the nanosecond they get the opportunity to do it for real, at which point they would make it work one way or another.
posted by jason_steakums at 9:40 AM on February 9 [34 favorites]


By the time Pence got to the gallows there may not have been much left of him to hang anyway
posted by East Manitoba Regional Junior Kabaddi Champion '94 at 9:44 AM on February 9 [10 favorites]


Doesn't really matter if your gallows is functional or not when you have guns.
posted by 0xFCAF at 9:52 AM on February 9 [3 favorites]


Excerpt from the Senate Chaplain's prayer:
"Mighty God: could it really be that simple? Could it really be just truth striving against falsehood, and good striving against evil? Powerful redeemer, have mercy on our beloved land."

posted by East Manitoba Regional Junior Kabaddi Champion '94 at 10:08 AM on February 9 [6 favorites]


GOP is so lost to Trump that whatever evidence of his misdeeds comes out it won't make any difference.

Yes but getting each of those pieces of evidence on the front page of every paper from coast to coast needs to happen. There's no support left in the electorate that isn't already a fanatical devotee of Trump. Decline of Trump's support only happens with attrition and with each atrocity they air another person throws up their arms and says "I'm done".

We make the mistake of thinking forsaking support for Trump involves a line he must cross. This is not the case. It's more like a bulwark in front of their critical thinking. Each thing that happens or gets exposed chips at that bulwark with doubt until it finally breaks through and then the spell is broken.
posted by Your Childhood Pet Rock at 10:09 AM on February 9 [46 favorites]


Impeachment is extremely important, conviction is extremely important, but more important than either is that the GOP needs to get their house in order and draw a line against being a home for authoritarianism, and every moment they don't is a massive moral failure. The reporting out after the 6th painted a big ugly picture of officials walking on eggshells and taking halfass measures because they didn't want to upset Trump's poor little feelings, and what that says is that just by letting them in, a future Trump can take far more drastic actions and dare anyone who can stop him to try it and it's not unlikely the response will just be feckless agency heads trying to manage a horrifying situation that's already made them ineffective at doing so by its very existence. Impeachment and conviction is important but it's paper and if someone pulls a Jackson re: Marshall it might just blow away.

The keys to an effective autocracy in America are domination over the agencies that could restrain you and there's jack shit Congress can do about that with checks and balances against someone who's serious and competent about it, and that's why in America's system the danger has to be torn out at the roots in the political parties and who they allow to represent them.

Unfortunately the GOP needs to feel electoral punishment to get there because they won't choose it out of a sense of morality, but luckily we have a window in which to do that. If the threat of MAGA primaries turns out to be a paper tiger or the suburbs are so turned off by MAGA candidates and high on a booming post-pandemic recovery that they're general election poison I think things will finally start to turn away from imminent danger to just the normal steady level of heightened panic we were used to before, so here's hoping.
posted by jason_steakums at 10:16 AM on February 9 [10 favorites]


Wow, Jamie Raskin really knows how to make a case via video.
posted by all about eevee at 10:23 AM on February 9 [13 favorites]


There's a hell of a difference between seeing short clips on Twitter and seeing it all strung together. JFC.
posted by Your Childhood Pet Rock at 10:34 AM on February 9 [21 favorites]


"...the reply brief we filed early this morning."
posted by 20 year lurk at 10:38 AM on February 9 [3 favorites]


I guess I missed the video? I'm watching the live stream now, but I'd appreciate a link to what you're talking about.
posted by meese at 10:39 AM on February 9 [1 favorite]


Yeah, that video. Holy cats.
posted by jquinby at 10:40 AM on February 9 [2 favorites]


try "watch from beginning" here, meese, and skip ahead to 29:40ish.
posted by 20 year lurk at 10:43 AM on February 9 [21 favorites]


Jamie Raskin is pretty good with words as well.
posted by Bella Donna at 10:49 AM on February 9 [4 favorites]


Representative Joe Neguse is no slouch either.
posted by mikelieman at 10:52 AM on February 9 [5 favorites]


I love this, "we're not going to fall for the Turley in the tailpipe again."
posted by rhizome at 10:55 AM on February 9 [1 favorite]


I also appreciate that the language used here is very simple and clear. It is not bogged down in scholarly language or lectures at all so far. Very impressive.
posted by all about eevee at 11:04 AM on February 9 [8 favorites]


If someone commits murder in the US and moves to another country, that doesn't stop the authorities from pursuing charges. If a CEO steals money from their company and then goes to work for another, that doesn't stop the authorities from leveling charges.

The argument that Trump can no longer be charged, once out of office, seems laughably desperate.

Can lawyers who put forward this argument be ultimately disbarred? It seems so blatantly disingenuous and frivolous, an attempt to waste the Senate's time and distract the jury from the crime in question.
posted by They sucked his brains out! at 11:23 AM on February 9 [12 favorites]




that gallows i've seen pictured was by no means functional. not saying it couldn't be used to maim or strangle, but not to hang.

Just like a burning cross is not a functional means to crucify someone either.

And also just like a burning cross, whether or not that gallows was functional was never the point.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 11:30 AM on February 9 [80 favorites]


The "January exception" framing is smart. I hadn't heard that one before. That's something most should be able to comprehend.
posted by floam at 11:31 AM on February 9 [1 favorite]


I mean, if there's an angry mob of proletariats outside my office with real guillotines that's a quite different thing for me compared to protestors with a cardboard guillotine and effigies.

Not if the protestors have the motivation and means to beat you to death regardless. Watch the video.
posted by East Manitoba Regional Junior Kabaddi Champion '94 at 11:42 AM on February 9 [8 favorites]


That emotional ending from Raskin really worked for me.
posted by The corpse in the library at 11:46 AM on February 9 [5 favorites]


I remember, while the riot was taking place, I asked a co-worker who is a self-described independent thinking conservative (He listens to Ben Shapiro religiously), what he thought. "Its funny to me. What did they think they'd accomplish?" I said "An overthrow of the election results?" He said "Obviously, they couldn't do that, so, it's funny that they did." I asked "What if they had?" He said "They never could and its funny that they thought they could."

The conservative movement has so many pockets of pus, of rotting thought that it begs the question if it can be saved.
posted by zerobyproxy at 11:50 AM on February 9 [8 favorites]


I hadn't noticed that amazing line from Trump's eventual and reluctant video asking people to go home, all while reiterating that the election was stolen:
"This was a fraudulent election. But we can't play into the hands of these people. We have to have peace. So go home. We love you."
We have to have peace. Not because mounting a deadly assault on the U.S. Capitol is morally wrong. But because it plays into their hands. The hands of these people who fraudulently stole the election. So stand back. And stand by.
posted by East Manitoba Regional Junior Kabaddi Champion '94 at 11:52 AM on February 9 [14 favorites]


The conservative movement has so many pockets of pus, of rotting thought that it begs the question if it can be saved.

Sure, let's get to that after we save the poliovirus in West Africa
posted by East Manitoba Regional Junior Kabaddi Champion '94 at 11:58 AM on February 9 [8 favorites]


Upon reviewing the video, at some point, as a country, I hope we get to have a serious talk about all those "Blue Lives Matter"-flag waving terrorists beating up police officers, once we deal with the Trump problem. I never want to hear a right-winger mouth off about how great and untouchable police or first responders are, ever again.
posted by They sucked his brains out! at 11:59 AM on February 9 [26 favorites]


I guess you could call that a false flag attack...
posted by East Manitoba Regional Junior Kabaddi Champion '94 at 12:02 PM on February 9 [6 favorites]


I never want to hear a right-winger mouth off about how great and untouchable police or first responders are, ever again.

I've been saying this since the early aughts, when Congress all started falling all over themselves to make "Never Forget" or "remember our brave First Responders" statements but then turning around and dragging their feet on the Zadgroga Act.

Hypocrites. Every last one of them.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 12:05 PM on February 9 [15 favorites]


The conservative movement has so many pockets of pus, of rotting thought that it begs the question if it can be saved.

The conservative ideology in the USA was always about white/Christian supremacy and oligarchy. All that bullshit about small government and states' rights went out the window as soon as they got hold of the levers of power.
posted by benzenedream at 12:06 PM on February 9 [16 favorites]


So the defense is that Trump isn't capable of reflective thought?
posted by mazola at 12:12 PM on February 9 [6 favorites]


christ, what an asshole castor is so far. and boring.
posted by 20 year lurk at 12:12 PM on February 9 [2 favorites]


Good to hear the filibuster is still alive and well in the Senate. Maybe they hope everyone will fall asleep and when they wake up just assume this was all a bad dream?
posted by meinvt at 12:14 PM on February 9 [1 favorite]


Extraordinary men
Gallant men (and women)
Patriots

Not sure what his point is? Senators are better than everyone else?
posted by TWinbrook8 at 12:14 PM on February 9 [3 favorites]


Castor has two hours, and he's just buttering up the Senate?

'Cool-headed and erudite.'
posted by box at 12:15 PM on February 9 [2 favorites]


That video really was worth a watch. I don't know why they left out all the people shouting "Hang Mike Pence," though. That was such a visceral moment for me, and I don't like the guy. Presumably some of the Senators do.
posted by Mchelly at 12:15 PM on February 9 [5 favorites]


This guy is out of his league.
posted by all about eevee at 12:16 PM on February 9 [1 favorite]


TWinbrook8: "Not sure what his point is? "

Senators are too coolheaded to be swayed by the emotional experience of a lynch mob attacking the Capitol, and have a duty to represent their constituents and do the right thing by [checks notes] letting the instigator off the hook.
posted by Rhaomi at 12:17 PM on February 9 [10 favorites]


I don't know why they left out all the people shouting "Hang Mike Pence," though.

While I feel the video was extremely effective, I think there's a ton more stuff they could have included, and I wonder if they are being asked not to in order to not undermine forthcoming jury selections. Think: the Qanon Shaman in Mike Pence's chair. But maybe they're just saving it for later.
posted by East Manitoba Regional Junior Kabaddi Champion '94 at 12:18 PM on February 9


This Castor guy kind of reminds me of when I used to try to wing big presentations in college.
posted by all about eevee at 12:18 PM on February 9 [10 favorites]


so are they all, all honorable men...
posted by 20 year lurk at 12:20 PM on February 9 [9 favorites]


Watching this incompetent, truly embarrassing presentation brings to mind Metafilter Classic #24: The Best People.
posted by PhineasGage at 12:22 PM on February 9 [7 favorites]


this is truly, amazingly, bad.
posted by ChuraChura at 12:26 PM on February 9 [2 favorites]


so are they all, all honorable men...

Cool, considerate men.
posted by Mchelly at 12:28 PM on February 9 [3 favorites]


Castor hasn't even practiced his speech. He's winging it. Most important trial of his life and he's fucking winging it.
posted by Your Childhood Pet Rock at 12:28 PM on February 9 [7 favorites]


In summary, America is a land of contrasts.
posted by They sucked his brains out! at 12:30 PM on February 9 [7 favorites]


Watching this incompetent, truly embarrassing presentation brings to mind Metafilter Classic #24: The Best People.

It's not clear he could ever get the actual best people in this circumstance. The talent pool was suppressed by:
1) The clear, at the time, hindrances to future employment from being associated with Trump
2) The fact that everyone's prior was that this will end up a party-loyalist vote; i.e. you'll get no credit for "winning the case" and can only screw it up
3) The nativist element ain't the sharpest tools in the shed to begin with
posted by stevis23 at 12:30 PM on February 9 [6 favorites]


"Congress shall make no law abridging freedom of speech et cetera"

What kind of fucking joke of a lawyer is this?
posted by Your Childhood Pet Rock at 12:30 PM on February 9 [1 favorite]


Webster's Dictionary defines impeachment as...
posted by all about eevee at 12:32 PM on February 9 [32 favorites]




> Think: the Qanon Shaman in Mike Pence's chair.

Maybe they don't want people to focus on individuals other than Trump. You could say that it isn't Trump's fault that any one particular wingnut was wingnuttery -- it's better to focus on the bigger crowd he riled up.
posted by The corpse in the library at 12:34 PM on February 9 [4 favorites]


Castor seems to be talking about everything except the actual issue at hand.
posted by mazola at 12:35 PM on February 9


Holy moly I am honestly baffled at how different a level this is from what we heard before the break.
posted by Namlit at 12:36 PM on February 9 [5 favorites]




I don't understand the question. He was inside the White House, which was of course never a target of anyone on the 6th.

Well ya. Compare and contrast with the Bunker Boy incident. There were hundreds of people still milling around the Whitehouse while an armed insurrection was happening within walking distance and Trump didn't retreat to his bunker. That's the actions of a leader not an opponent of an anti government mob.
posted by Mitheral at 12:38 PM on February 9 [5 favorites]


Even though the Dunning-Kruger Effect might not be real, Castor is the living embodiment of the Dunning-Kruger Effect.
posted by PhineasGage at 12:39 PM on February 9 [4 favorites]


Castor is the living embodiment of white men failing upwards.
posted by Your Childhood Pet Rock at 12:40 PM on February 9 [14 favorites]


It this wasn't so serious it would be funny.
posted by mazola at 12:42 PM on February 9 [3 favorites]


My friend group has agreed that Steve Martin would be ideal for his SNL casting. Blustery and unreasonably self-assured.
posted by lauranesson at 12:43 PM on February 9 [6 favorites]


Every time Castor gets his energy peaking it's giving me really unpleasant Brett Kavanaugh "I like beer! I like beer!" vibes on top of everything else here.
posted by cortex at 12:44 PM on February 9 [14 favorites]


This takes muuuuuch too much time for comedy, no matter whether it’s intentional or not. God so boring (apart from under rehearsed and weird).
posted by Namlit at 12:45 PM on February 9 [1 favorite]


Why is he bringing up “change of administration”, 100% it works! But Trump’s big argument was that the vote was fraudulent...
posted by TWinbrook8 at 12:46 PM on February 9 [2 favorites]


he already smirkingly alluded to kav, while failing to invoke the whirlwind

i think "why are [members of congress] afraid" of the people? is unfortunate rhetoric in context of populist sacking of the capitol.
posted by 20 year lurk at 12:47 PM on February 9 [4 favorites]


Bruce Castor: "I'm wearing Jim Garrison glasses, so, uh, you know... Kevin Costner!"
posted by valkane at 12:49 PM on February 9


the four seasons total landscaping school of law and oratory
posted by lalochezia at 12:50 PM on February 9 [31 favorites]


Friendly reminder that Schoen is the less qualified of these two guys.
posted by box at 12:51 PM on February 9 [5 favorites]


Wait, first it was “he’s no longer president. Voters voted him out”. Now it’s “we’re rushing to trial before the investigation is complete”.
posted by TWinbrook8 at 12:55 PM on February 9 [2 favorites]


Friendly reminder that Schoen is the less qualified of these two guys.
posted by box at 2:51 PM on February 9


These words link together coherently to form a thing I should be able to understand, but after what I just watched... it's like grapplin' a... pig... who just came outta.... Nebraska?

Oh, this guy is mad because we're trying to disenfranchise 74 million voters? It would be bad if someone had tried to disenfranchise 80 million...???
posted by OnTheLastCastle at 12:56 PM on February 9 [4 favorites]


To sum up the lack of coordination on display in the last ten minutes:

CASTOR: If anyone was serious about impeaching Trump, they would have done so in January! Why only now? And now I'll hand this over to my colleague, David Schoen.
SCHOEN: Yes! To engage in this process before a full investigation is complete is terrible! If anyone was serious about this, they'd wait!
posted by cortex at 12:57 PM on February 9 [43 favorites]


the four seasons total landscaping school of law and oratory

In turn, accredited by the Hollywood Upstairs Medical College.
posted by They sucked his brains out! at 12:58 PM on February 9 [9 favorites]


I believe it's Article 69 Section 420 of the Constitution that says "If in doubte, throw everything at the wall untill it sticks"
posted by East Manitoba Regional Junior Kabaddi Champion '94 at 12:59 PM on February 9 [8 favorites]


"Your imagination is your only limitation."

David Schoen bringing zombo.com onto the Senate floor is certainly a legal argument.
posted by They sucked his brains out! at 1:03 PM on February 9 [15 favorites]


Republicans are very, very good at the "It's too soon!" *a period of time passes* "It's too late!"
posted by OnTheLastCastle at 1:03 PM on February 9 [62 favorites]


I predict we won’t hear another peep out of Castor. Schoenberg has the better, Trump-approved, ballistic approach.
posted by TWinbrook8 at 1:03 PM on February 9 [1 favorite]


This "impeach him!" supercut, with the scary music bed.
posted by whuppy at 1:05 PM on February 9 [1 favorite]


I am assuming Castor is getting fired tonight and we will never see him again.
posted by all about eevee at 1:06 PM on February 9 [1 favorite]


Unless the House actually impeached Trump 57 times I think that reel proves restraint.
posted by mazola at 1:06 PM on February 9 [2 favorites]


I kinda felt bad for Castor. Don't agree with him one bit, but it felt almost cruel watching him twist.

This Schoen guy, though. I wish bad clams on that guy.
posted by davelog at 1:07 PM on February 9 [7 favorites]


^ Schoen (damn autocorrect)
posted by TWinbrook8 at 1:07 PM on February 9 [1 favorite]


Can someone give a rundown of what shouty man's qualifications as a lawyer are? Someone said he was the less qualified and I'm very curious now.
posted by OnTheLastCastle at 1:07 PM on February 9 [1 favorite]


complaints of democratic commitment to impeachment elide that president's uninterrupted provision of reasons to impeach via consistent lawless behavior.
posted by 20 year lurk at 1:08 PM on February 9 [3 favorites]


The NY Times has a backgrounder on Trump's, uh, dream team.
posted by PhineasGage at 1:09 PM on February 9 [1 favorite]


CASTOR: The thing never happened.
SCHOEN: But even if it did happen, trump didn't do the thing.
CASTOR: And what's more, trump already apologized for doing the thing.
SCHOEN: Also, that was a whole month ago! Why are we still even talking about the thing?
CASTOR: In summation, let's revisit this at a later date when we've all had more time to investigate the thing.
posted by Atom Eyes at 1:11 PM on February 9 [41 favorites]




I think you forget that one of them says at the end, "And if Trump did do it, democracy deserved it," Atom Eyes.
posted by OnTheLastCastle at 1:15 PM on February 9 [4 favorites]


I mean, if democracy didn't want to be overthrown it wouldn't have invited Donald Trump in, right?
posted by Riki tiki at 1:22 PM on February 9 [12 favorites]


Rhetoric protip from David Schoen: if you utter a sotto voce "respectfully" periodically while angrily talking shit about someone while they're in the room, it's all good.
posted by cortex at 1:25 PM on February 9 [8 favorites]


Mr. Castor was recommended to Mr. Trump and his advisers by his cousin, Stephen R. Castor, a House Republican staff lawyer who helped lead the president’s early defense against his first impeachment in 2019.

Love to see croneyism score an own-goal
posted by little onion at 1:26 PM on February 9 [5 favorites]


Riki tiki have you heard the one about the scorpion and the frog?
posted by sainttoad at 1:27 PM on February 9 [2 favorites]


My Cousin Vinny is now trending on Twitter. Between today's events and this recent viral post about his New Jersey house being put up for sale, it's been a banner week for Joe Pesci!
posted by Atom Eyes at 1:28 PM on February 9 [5 favorites]




Okay, I just started watching and WHAT is this rambling fuckery?
posted by desuetude at 1:40 PM on February 9 [8 favorites]


nobody knows, des, nobody knows
posted by The corpse in the library at 1:43 PM on February 9 [13 favorites]


Okay, I just started watching and WHAT is this rambling fuckery?

Schoen going all-in on the Chewbacca defense.
posted by nathan_teske at 1:43 PM on February 9 [6 favorites]


Talking about the dangers of a broad reading of "high crimes and misdemeanors" like we didn't impeach a President over a blowjob.
posted by Your Childhood Pet Rock at 1:46 PM on February 9 [31 favorites]


"we changed" our presentation because the House case was so "well done,"

Does this read as, "I prepared something that was so tasteless in the face of an effective emotional recounting of the storming that saying nothing was better"?
posted by little onion at 1:48 PM on February 9 [7 favorites]


WHAT is this rambling fuckery?

Judging by what we've heard so far today from Castor et al., castoreum.
posted by mandolin conspiracy at 1:54 PM on February 9 [5 favorites]


Lionel Hutz lives!
posted by Liquidwolf at 1:57 PM on February 9 [1 favorite]


How do you prepare a case, the entirety of which is based on the argument that the proceedings are unconstitutional, and not expect that your opponent will use the Constitution's authors' words to counter your argument? How could they not have been ready for that? Did they not have anyone play the devil's advocate when they were initially setting up their argument? Did they not rehearse how they thought it would go? Maybe lawyers don't always do that but jesus christ. This is a goddamned impeachment broadcast live to the world. I'll spend 8 hours prepping for a 20-minute pitch to a piss-ant client with five total employees. How could they not be ready for this? How long have they been on this? Did they come on board like, this morning?
posted by nushustu at 1:57 PM on February 9 [24 favorites]


Did they come on board like, this morning?

Probably, look at who they're working for.
posted by jenfullmoon at 1:59 PM on February 9 [2 favorites]


What is up with this poem?
posted by mazola at 1:59 PM on February 9 [5 favorites]


> What is up with this poem?

I think it was supposed to make me cry, like Raskin did? But it did not?
posted by The corpse in the library at 2:01 PM on February 9 [2 favorites]


Longfellow was a shitty poet. Points deducted.
posted by From Bklyn at 2:01 PM on February 9 [3 favorites]


Prosecution lawyer comes up after the Schoen's finishing poem and says, and I'm paraphrasing but not being particularly saucy: "we will address [waving arms] all of THAT tomorrow, but we don't actually need to rebut any of it right now like at ALL, so, back to you, Senators."
posted by cortex at 2:04 PM on February 9 [5 favorites]


> Talking about the dangers of a broad reading of "high crimes and misdemeanors" like we didn't impeach a President over a blowjob.

For lying about a blowjob.
posted by desuetude at 2:07 PM on February 9 [13 favorites]


How could they not be ready for this? How long have they been on this? Did they come on board like, this morning?

(a) Spending time on right-wing talk shows and comforting a wounded orange ego can eat up your schedule, and (b) Maybe knowing the odds of 17 Republicans putting their country above their careers kind of takes away your sense of urgency.
posted by trig at 2:09 PM on February 9 [8 favorites]


Yeah, if you're taking the class Pass/Fail and know you have the grades going into the final, you don't knock yourself out studying.
posted by robocop is bleeding at 2:15 PM on February 9 [11 favorites]


Which six Republicans votes aye?
posted by double bubble at 2:18 PM on February 9 [1 favorite]


For lying about a blowjob.

So are you saying that the Republicans would have found it A-OK if Trump had been impeached for lying about the Stormy Daniels affair?

Schoen's speech was incredible. Totally free of substance and blatantly playing to the orange idiot and his idiot followers. And screaming. The remark about crying was such bad taste, as were the constant references to Ken Starr.

I wonder if they are overplaying their cards. I mean, it probably works with the dedicated minority. But senators are not protected by gerrymanders, and they have to get some independent votes to win. If this becomes too much of a shitshow, some will have a hard time in 2022.
posted by mumimor at 2:20 PM on February 9 [5 favorites]


well they lost that volley: the senate ruled the proceedings are not unconstitutional.
posted by 20 year lurk at 2:21 PM on February 9 [2 favorites]


Senator Mike Lee today: "Everyone makes mistakes. Everyone is entitled to a mulligan."

A mulligan a term from golf where if you are in a friendly game and not really keeping score, when someone muffs a shot off the tee, you allow that person to hit a second ball to see if they can do better.

So Lee is saying that since Trump muffed his first insurrection, he should get a second chance? Because insurrection is just like a friendly game of golf where you don't keep score?
posted by JackFlash at 2:23 PM on February 9 [36 favorites]




Which six Republicans...?
cassidy, collins, murkowski, romney, sasse, toomey, per cnn
posted by 20 year lurk at 2:27 PM on February 9 [6 favorites]


There's like... a whole other branch of government whose job it is to tell the legislature when they've done something unconstitutional. So what the legislature thinks about the constitutionality of its own actions kind of doesn't matter in this way? It's such a stupid performative vote.
posted by jason_steakums at 2:30 PM on February 9 [3 favorites]


Showing that you can half ass things and still keep your position of power is a demonstration of your privilege and entitlement; it is a feature not a bug.
posted by benzenedream at 2:30 PM on February 9 [19 favorites]


I like the classic cover-all-bases defense.

"My client wasn't there. But if he was there he didn't do it. But if he did do it, it was self-defense."
posted by JackFlash at 2:31 PM on February 9 [7 favorites]


The cynical thing is, these lawyers can do (or not do) anything - the GOP can't be embarrassed, they've thrown in with Trump's base and aren't going back.
posted by zenzenobia at 2:32 PM on February 9 [3 favorites]


> For lying about a blowjob.

So are you saying that the Republicans would have found it A-OK if Trump had been impeached for lying about the Stormy Daniels affair?


Oh gods, of course not. That's my point -- the horrendous irony of how Republicans have fully embraced Trump's shameless nonstop lies, including on matters of actual national security.
posted by desuetude at 2:33 PM on February 9


An impeachment conviction now extraordinarily unlikely. A whole lot of other state and federal charges are just waiting for this one to be over with, I think.
posted by notoriety public at 2:33 PM on February 9 [2 favorites]


Also don't believe any hype about McConnell's supposed mastery of politics if he feels safe to act like Trump has been handled and isn't a threat that they need to deal with by convicting. Trump will make a point of coming for Mitch's power no matter how he votes here because of his words on the 6th if he can. McConnell is good at obstruction but at actual political maneuvering he's a total dipshit who thinks this time, he's got this tiger firmly by the tail and everything's fine.
posted by jason_steakums at 2:35 PM on February 9 [2 favorites]


and his own counsel's strongest argument was that he should face a criminal trial.
posted by 20 year lurk at 2:35 PM on February 9 [6 favorites]


Does it really matter what the defense lawyers say? Seriously, either them or Trump could just take a whopping diarrhea shit in the room and say "The defense rests!" and they're still gonna be in the clear.
posted by jenfullmoon at 2:35 PM on February 9 [14 favorites]


If one of the 44 did flip on the next vote, wouldn’t they be defying the position they just took that the vote itself is unconstitutional? So basically, we are done here.
posted by double bubble at 2:37 PM on February 9


There's like... a whole other branch of government whose job it is to tell the legislature when they've done something unconstitutional.

I just want to clarify that while the judiciary has that power, they're not supposed to need to exercise it. The legislature and the executive are expected to adhere to the constitution in good faith, and should only occasionally need judicial correction due to a weird edge case or honest mistake.

Many of the celebrated SCOTUS victories for civil rights only exist because the other branches failed to do their goddamned jobs. We shouldn't count on the SCOTUS to protect us, and certainly not with its current political makeup.
posted by Riki tiki at 2:37 PM on February 9 [4 favorites]


The legislature and the executive are expected to adhere to the constitution in good faith, and should only occasionally need judicial correction due to a weird edge case or honest mistake.

Oh absolutely! But I mean, the conviction vote functions as a constitutionality vote. If you think it's unconstitutional you don't convict. If he's convicted and he thinks it's unconstitutional he can take it to SCOTUS. This whole other vote is just unnecessary and a vehicle for grandstanding.
posted by jason_steakums at 2:42 PM on February 9 [1 favorite]


If one of the 44 did flip on the next vote, wouldn’t they basically be defying the position they just took that the vote itself is unconstitutional? So basically, we are done here.

I know it'll never happen, but my fevered dream is that everyone who voted that it's unconstitutional just ... stays home for the rest of the proceedings.
posted by Jonathan Livengood at 2:43 PM on February 9 [4 favorites]


Upon reviewing the video, at some point, as a country, I hope we get to have a serious talk about all those "Blue Lives Matter"-flag waving terrorists beating up police officers, once we deal with the Trump problem. I never want to hear a right-winger mouth off about how great and untouchable police or first responders are, ever again.

It's worth noting that in 8 months of Black Lives Matter protests, anti-police protests involving millions in every major city, that not one police officer was killed.

A few thousand magas surpassed that total within a few hours.
posted by adept256 at 2:44 PM on February 9 [43 favorites]


Alan Dershowitz Had ‘No Idea’ What Trump Impeachment Lawyer Bruce Castor Was Doing., Law & Crime, Matt Naham, Feb 9th, 2021:
Harvard Law professor emeritus Alan Dershowitz joined a chorus of legal observers who criticized attorney Bruce Castor for his performance in defense of Donald Trump on day 1 of the impeachment trial in the Senate. Dershowitz said that he had “no idea” what Castor was doing and did not detect an argument, calling this problematic given the “very strong” opening by House impeachment managers.

Dershowitz, who memorably defended Trump during his first impeachment and who said he would defend Trump a second time if asked, joined Newsmax on Tuesday afternoon and offered his reaction to Castor’s strategy. Dershowitz visibly shook his head from side to side before he tore into Castor for not bringing a constitutional argument to the table to rebut the incitement of insurrection article of impeachment brought by the House.
...
“There is no argument. I have no idea what he’s doing. I have no idea why he’s saying what he’s saying,” Dershowitz began. “He’s introducing himself ‘I’m a nice guy. I like my senators. I know my senators. Senators are great people.’ C’mon.”

“The American people are entitled to an argument—a constitutional argument,” he added. “This, just after all kinds of very strong presentations on the part of the House managers with the videotapes and the emotional speech by congressman Raskin, my former student.”

Dershowitz said that he did not understand Castor’s strategy and said buttering up the senators did not appear to be effective advocacy....
Other observers follow in the article.
posted by cenoxo at 2:44 PM on February 9 [1 favorite]


Dershowitz? Epstein's lawyer?
Epstein's butler testified under oath that Dershowitz was present when underage girls were around, according to court filings.

In an interview via Skype, Dershowitz insisted he never saw an underage girl at Epstein's house, but was worked on by an older lady.

"Were there young women in another part of the house giving massages when I wasn't around? I have no idea of that," he said.

"I kept my underwear on during the massage," Dershowitz went on to stammer. "I don't like massages particularly."
When the I kept my underwear on guy is saying your defense sucks, your defense sucks.
posted by adept256 at 3:06 PM on February 9 [17 favorites]


People, please. If there was a vote to something, link to what you are talking about.
posted by rebent at 3:08 PM on February 9 [3 favorites]


Watching DW, BBC, and now France 24 on PBS and not a single reporter discussing the constitutionality raised the point that McConnell prevented a trial while Trump was in office.
posted by TWinbrook8 at 3:09 PM on February 9 [18 favorites]


Hahahahahahaha...

Trump was quite displeased with his impeachment defense team (Politico)
The president was frustrated with the meandering arguments. Some close to his defense team quit watching.

posted by PhineasGage at 3:17 PM on February 9 [7 favorites]


The impeachment hearing user-generated clip section of CSPAN's site is slowly filling up with various excerpts:

Most recent

Most popular

posted by mandolin conspiracy at 3:22 PM on February 9 [2 favorites]


If there was a vote to something, link to what you are talking about

is this the vote you want a link to, rebent? it occurred at the end of today's proceedings: 4 hours argument and a vote as to the constitutionality of holding this senate impeachment trial.
posted by 20 year lurk at 3:26 PM on February 9 [1 favorite]


I mean, at this point, Republicans could just vote that the constitution is made of Cheez Whiz and it wouldn't surprise me at all.
posted by valkane at 3:35 PM on February 9 [8 favorites]


The constitution is made of people.
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 3:42 PM on February 9 [12 favorites]


Quoting Jim Wright of Stonekettle:
I'm not a lawyer, so I totally didn't see the "If you don't drop the charges against our guy who is accused of leading a violent insurrection against democracy, we'll start a civil war, kill every one of you liberal fuckers, and burn down the country" opening argument coming.
Do I dare ask what he's referring to?
posted by ocschwar at 3:57 PM on February 9 [5 favorites]


I'm probably really wrong here, but saying "this isn't Constitutional" is a weasel's way out. I'm partly surprised all of the GOP didn't vote party-line on that because it gives you the excuse not to weigh in on whether Trump did it (he did), and whether doing it was wrong (it was). Now that that vote is over and the trial is proceeding, it has to be taken on its merits: Did he do the thing, and was the thing wrong?

To me, the fact that no GOP Senator who already said it was Constitutional before didn't flip to now say it isn't, is a good sign.

This isn't over, and there's a good likelihood a lot of people haven't seen a lot of the evidence that will be presented. Call your Senators. Call GOP Senators. Call their corporate donors. Remind them that this matters and that we care that they do the right thing. As Raskin said, "If this isn't impeachable, nothing is."
posted by Mchelly at 3:58 PM on February 9 [7 favorites]


Nothing is impeachable if our guy did it.
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 4:02 PM on February 9 [5 favorites]


He's been impeached. twice. now it's whether or not the senate has the will to convict.
posted by OHenryPacey at 4:09 PM on February 9 [7 favorites]


Remember that any GOP senator who votes for impeachment would then have to face the wrath of the heavily armed lunatics they've unleashed on the rest of us. The poor dears, what a dilemma.
posted by Abehammerb Lincoln at 4:12 PM on February 9 [13 favorites]


The reality is the constitutionality question was only raised to give them cover for not convicting. The 44 senators can now point to this vote as to why they will vote not to convict even though there is overwhelming evidence that trump incited an insurrection. Of course, there is overwhelming evidence to support that the proceedings are indeed constitutional but it’s got just enough wiggle room that they can sound like Serious Men standing up for Serious Issues on Fox.
posted by double bubble at 4:14 PM on February 9 [1 favorite]


On NPR this evening they noted that it would be difficult to get Republican senators to convict because they were looking to get re-elected.

They stopped at that point, but I nearly yelled at the radio, yes, double down and tell people they have no intention of judging the case, only calculating their chance of keeping their job.
posted by CheeseDigestsAll at 4:25 PM on February 9 [6 favorites]


gawdalmighty I just sat through the defense.

In conclusion, all mimsy were the borogroves, and the mome raths outgrabe.
posted by adept256 at 4:41 PM on February 9 [23 favorites]


The president was frustrated with the meandering arguments

He was probably upset with them stating publicly that he lost the election. They couldn't base their defense on being above impeachment due to being out of office — without first acknowledging that he was out of office, because he lost the election. That must have stung.
posted by They sucked his brains out! at 4:58 PM on February 9 [6 favorites]


I hope those guys are beginning to realize they're not getting paid and never were. It'd be delicious if he fired them.
posted by adept256 at 5:06 PM on February 9 [8 favorites]


Ali Zaslav @alizaslav 9:50 AM · Feb 10, 2021·Twitter for iPhone
Trump’s lawyer David Schoen, an Orthodox Jew, said he did not wear his yarmulke on the Senate floor during his arguments in the impeachment trial because he wasn’t sure if it “was appropriate.”

“I just wasn’t sure if it was appropriate, frankly..I didn’t want to offend anyone.”
FYI, I checked, and it was still 2021.
posted by Joe in Australia at 5:10 PM on February 9 [20 favorites]


Well, if you're trying to get the Nazis on your side, you don't want to call attention to your Jewishness.
posted by riotnrrd at 5:14 PM on February 9 [51 favorites]


OK that answers a question that was bothering me, which was why he kept putting his hand on top of his head whenever he tilted it back to take a sip of water.
posted by Room 101 at 5:44 PM on February 9 [8 favorites]


On Twitter somebody said the defense team was acting like attorneys who knew they would never be paid. It made me laugh. It’s the only thing that has during this miserable process. I’m really glad 45 got impeached again and I hope during the trial tomorrow there are some good sound bites that Democrats can use against Republicans in 2022.

Reading the New York Times link from above about the defense team, the only interesting thing I learned is that the New York Times is still literally incapable of calling 45’s big lie a lie. They are sticking with falsehood, and I wonder how they justify that stylistic choice. Is calling a lie, a lie considered biased? Is it some kind of misguided difference to the office of the president? I don’t know what the fuck is going on but it’s still upsetting but not as upsetting as the GOP.

The worst part for me was listening to the first defense attorney flatter the senators and tell them how special they were and insist that the very last thing they were was partisan, Which is bullshit, and then the second guy came out to yell at the Democrats for being partisan, read a bad poem and get teary-eyed. I don’t know how to fight against bad faith pretending to be the opposite of what it is. I have all kinds of work deadlines and it’s almost 3 AM or a.m. and I can’t sleep because I let myself be distracted because I really wanted to watch the US government at work.

I was moved by the impeachment managers. I was proud of the job they did. I’m glad this happened, it needed to happen even if 45 is not convicted. Doing the right thing is not necessarily convenient and not necessarily satisfying. But they’re fighting for democracy, and I’m grateful for that.
posted by Bella Donna at 5:47 PM on February 9 [30 favorites]


Reading the New York Times link from above about the defense team, the only interesting thing I learned is that the New York Times is still literally incapable of calling 45’s big lie a lie. They are sticking with falsehood, and I wonder how they justify that stylistic choice.

The NYT says that a lie implies that the person knows they are telling a falsehood. They protest that they can't really read the mind of someone to know if they are lying.

But that is just typical NYT inconsistent bullshit. The NYT frequently says stuff like "Republicans are resisting the relief bill because they believe it will cause inflation." How do they know what Republicans believe unless they can read their minds? They only know what Republicans say. Contrary to the NYT, Republicans may just believe that they don't want to give money to poor people, but just say it's because of inflation.

It seems that the NYT policy on reading minds is a very selective policy.
posted by JackFlash at 6:02 PM on February 9 [40 favorites]


More Than a Dozen Accused Capitol Rioters Say Trump Incited Them (Mother Jones, Feb. 8) According to our investigation, of the 194 federal criminal cases brought against insurrectionists so far, at least 13 people charged cited Trump explicitly as the reason they marched on the Capitol. At least three suspects who said Trump compelled them to join the siege were seen in video footage amid violent altercations: One who allegedly struck a police officer with a fire extinguisher, another who allegedly struck an officer with a baseball bat, and another who was among a group breaching the speaker’s lobby doors just before one pro-Trump rioter was fatally shot by a police officer. Among those charged in the insurrection to date are at least five members of the neofascist Proud Boys, whose Long Island chapter announced on social media in December that Trump had given them “the green light” for January 6.

While many in the crowd of thousands who went from Trump’s rally at the White House to the Capitol building may not have broken laws, the mob comprised of people from across the country was united by a central narrative: Trump’s sustained lies about the presidential election being “stolen.” Dozens of those arrested indicated they were motivated by those claims from Trump.

posted by Iris Gambol at 6:20 PM on February 9 [16 favorites]


Media outlets everywhere are still using that "baseless statement" bullshit instead of "lie," and it almost makes me angrier than the behavior of the blatant, obvious liars themselves.
posted by PhineasGage at 6:21 PM on February 9 [8 favorites]


But at least she [Jenny Cudd] has her vacation time soon after, down in Mexico,

Sure, why not? If she skips, she has voluntarily converted her whatever-slap-on-the-wrist she was going to get to exile from the United States forever. I'll take it.
posted by ctmf at 6:35 PM on February 9 [6 favorites]


Meanwhile...

As impeachment begins, New York accelerates probes of Trump's property dealings | Reuters (reuters.com)
Manhattan prosecutors probing Trump’s real-estate business for possible insurance and tax fraud have stepped up witness interviews in recent months and hired forensic accountants, four people familiar with the criminal probe told Reuters. A separate state attorney general’s civil probe into whether the business falsely reported property values got a boost on Jan. 29, when a New York Supreme Court judge ordered the Trump Organization to turn over documents.
posted by ChurchHatesTucker at 6:36 PM on February 9 [17 favorites]


Trump is also in trouble down in Georgia:

Georgia Officials Review Trump Phone Call as Scrutiny Intensifies
The office of Georgia’s secretary of state, Brad Raffensperger, on Monday started an investigation into former President Donald J. Trump’s attempts to overturn the state’s election results, including a phone call he made to Mr. Raffensperger in which Mr. Trump pressured him to “find” enough votes to reverse his loss.

Such inquiries are “fact-finding and administrative in nature,” the secretary’s office said, and are a routine step when complaints are received about electoral matters. Findings are typically brought before the Republican-controlled state board of elections, which decides whether to refer them for prosecution to the state attorney general or another agency.
Even if/when domestic-terrorist- and cop-killer-collaborating Republicans let Trump off the hook, he's still facing numerous lawsuits down the road.

Cold comfort, maybe. He is a seditionist whose actions lead to death and destruction, and he should be punished for that. But he and his family will face the legal system and justice, as much as these Republicans will try to stop that from happening.
posted by They sucked his brains out! at 6:46 PM on February 9 [11 favorites]


Joe in Australia > Trump’s lawyer David Schoen, an Orthodox Jew, said he did not wear his yarmulke on the Senate floor during his arguments in the impeachment trial because he wasn’t sure if it “was appropriate.” “I just wasn’t sure if it was appropriate, frankly..I didn’t want to offend anyone.”
riotnrrd > Well, if you're trying to get the Nazis on your side, you don't want to call attention to your Jewishness.
Room 101 > OK that answers a question that was bothering me, which was why he kept putting his hand on top of his head whenever he tilted it back to take a sip of water.

Wikipedia > David Schoen > Personal Life:
Schoen is a practicing Orthodox Jew.[11] During his presentation on the first day of the Trump impeachment trial, Schoen drew attention for his practice of covering his head with his hand every time he took a sip of water. According to the New York Post, Schoen was following religious practice as an observant Jew by covering his head and say a blessing whenever he drinks.[12][13] A rabbi explained: "Since he wasn’t wearing a yarmulke he wanted to at least cover his head with his hand."[12]
Reference links in the WP article.
posted by cenoxo at 8:29 PM on February 9 [2 favorites]


From the same WP article, "Schoen also represented Roger Stone during his trial related to charges made during the Mueller investigation and briefly Jeffrey Epstein before his suicide.[4][5]"
posted by cenoxo at 8:38 PM on February 9 [2 favorites]


I really don't understand Schoen's rationale. I have heard that there is a rule prohibiting hats on the Senate floor, but that it is pretty much obsolete and has never been enforced with respect to religious head coverings. Schoen did ask if the Senate could not sit during the Jewish Sabbath, so if the Senate's rules were the problem, why not ask for a similar concession? I suppose looking for consistency here may be fruitless: better lawyers refused to represent Trump, and Schoen is who was left.
posted by Joe in Australia at 8:47 PM on February 9 [8 favorites]


I'm finally watching Bruce Castor's opening statement in defense of the former President. After twenty minutes of nothing remotely resembling a rebuttal or even a criticism of the prosecution's case, I began to feel sure that this man was one of the greatest patriots I had ever seen. He had seized the opportunity afforded by the resignation of the former President's legal team, who refused to regurgitate the former President's outright treasonous lie declaring the fraudulent invalidity of last year's presidential election, and volunteered to act in their stead, and here he was, refusing to say anything false, or even anything relevant, at all. And then, at last, the first criticism appeared: an attack on the claim that pre-revolutionary English law has any bearing on the meaning of the Constitution, a claim already pre-butted by quotes from the Founding Fathers presented on-screen by the prosecution. And I realized, no, this man was not the greatest patriot. But he was certainly one of the Best People.

One of the Best People in the Unites States.
posted by East Manitoba Regional Junior Kabaddi Champion '94 at 8:58 PM on February 9 [10 favorites]


I am assuming Castor is getting fired tonight and we will never see him again.

Maybe Trump will ask for a public defender.
posted by JackFlash at 9:02 PM on February 9 [2 favorites]


Mysteries! I just wonder if it's kosher to represent a man who forgot to mention the Jews in his statement on International Holocaust Remembrance Day. Or a man who didn't immediately fire his press secretary when they blithely remarked how even the nazis didn't use chemical weapons on their own people. Or a man who once looked to the heavens and said 'I am the chosen one', and retweeted a lunatic who said he was the second coming. Or a man who is a fucking racist PIG and everyone knows it.
posted by adept256 at 9:02 PM on February 9 [14 favorites]


Lawfare Live: Impeachment Morning Briefings, Bryce Klehm, Monday, February 8, 2021:
Starting this Wednesday, Feb. 10, at 9am EST [also on Thursday, Feb 11, and Friday, Feb 12], Lawfare Live will host 30-minute morning briefings for the impeachment trial on Crowdcast. At the morning briefings, members of the Lawfare team will discuss the prior day’s events, what they are watching for in the impeachment trial and then take audience questions about all things impeachment. Anyone can register below for each day’s briefing (your name and email will be shared with the host.)
posted by cenoxo at 9:27 PM on February 9 [4 favorites]


The vote today reminded me how the GOP is compelled to lie for Trump in order to maintain themselves in the good graces of their base.

Has me thinking about this Alexander Solzhenitsyn quote: The simple step of a courageous individual is not to take part in the lie.

I’ll be calling my senators tomorrow to remind them of their participation in Trump’s lies with their votes.
posted by Big Al 8000 at 9:33 PM on February 9 [33 favorites]


Trump’s Answer to the Senate and the Constitutional Stakes in the Pending Trial, Lawfare, Bob Bauer; Tuesday, February 9, 2021 [emphasis mine]:
...[Trump's] legal defense is riddled with problems, but it at least succeeds in underscoring a critical choice now before the Senate: Will the Senate judge the House charge in the narrowest sense—what did the president do and when did he do it?—or will it address those questions with attention to the larger context of the kind of presidency, the demagogic presidency, that Trump sought to establish? The answer’s factual admissions, assertions and denials are shaped by Trump’s baleful conception of the office, and this is the issue of central importance in assessing the constitutional stakes of this impeachment trial.

As Benjamin Wittes and Susan Hennessey have written, Donald Trump had a “wholly new vision of the office and his powers,” one that “elevates the expressive and personal dimensions of the office over everything else.” In a presidency like Trump’s, “the institutional office and the personality of its occupant are almost entirely merged—merged in their interests, in their impulses, in their finances, and in their public character.” The presidency of Trump’s conception “elevates the expressive and personal dimensions of the office over everything else.”

Others have defined Trump’s presidency, as I have, as the particular kind about which the Founders were deeply concerned: the demagogue. In a splendid book on the demagogue in American politics, Eric Posner pinpoints its “core meaning.” The president who, like Trump, is a demagogue, holds charismatic sway over his or her followers, but is amoral and “obtains the support of the people through dishonesty, emotional manipulation, and the exploitation of social division…” Since demagogues’ “ultimate goal is personal power and glory,” they seek to destroy existing governing institutions, which they portray as the self-protective gear of elites, and they will do what they must to entrench power by “undermining competitive power centers and interfering with elections.”

Wittes and Hennessey feared that if Trump were reelected, this vision of the presidency would receive public sanction: It would have taken hold, offering future aspirants to the office a model for self-interested, demagogic rule. Jack Goldsmith concurred that a reelected Trump would mean that “his norm breaking will be seen to serve the presidency more than it does today. If that happens, the office will be changed, and not for the better.”....
Donald Trump über alles, including the truth.

Whatever the outcome of the impeachment trial, especially a reality-based conviction that bans Trump from holding office (i.e., his public crucifixion and undeserved political death), won't stop his lies. It may only reinforce his supporters' faith in his eventual political resurrection and restored victory.
posted by cenoxo at 10:57 PM on February 9 [5 favorites]


The conservative movement has so many pockets of pus, of rotting thought that it begs the question if it can be saved.
posted by zerobyproxy


Question now seems more like is it worth saving?

–––––––––––

Has me thinking about this Alexander Solzhenitsyn quote: The simple step of a courageous individual is not to take part in the lie.
posted by Big Al 8000


The next sentence really seals the point:

Let the lie come into the world, even dominate the world,
but not through me.


The essence of morality.
posted by Pouteria at 12:07 AM on February 10 [19 favorites]


I was disappointed in the narrow timeline presented. I was hoping they would start with the first time he uttered that mail voting was dangerous and include every statement he made regarding the election all year - resulting in the big lie of a fraudulent election. If you put it together chronologically it becomes even more apparent how he assembled the entire clusterfuck, wound it up and turned it loose.

But of course that wouldn't faze a Qtrumpist.
posted by pee tape at 1:04 AM on February 10 [10 favorites]


I was hoping they would start with the first time he uttered that mail voting was dangerous and include every statement he made regarding the election all year

This would be glorious and wouldalso end up taking months so I understand why they aren't going this direction.
posted by Literaryhero at 2:14 AM on February 10 [3 favorites]


Jenn Budd
@BuddJenn


This second impeachment reminds me of whenever the KKK was brought to trial. Never mattered how much evidence was presented. Didn’t matter if the man admitted to the crime. He was ALWAYS acquitted bc the judge & jury were Klan too.
posted by Sublimity at 4:44 AM on February 10 [58 favorites]


That tweet by Jenn Budd gets to the point that news anchors and pundits are still missing in the coverage of yesterday's events. Republicans in congress are doing what they do *not* because they are afraid of Trump. It's because they approve of what happened.
posted by Sublimity at 5:30 AM on February 10 [14 favorites]


Reading the New York Times link from above about the defense team, the only interesting thing I learned is that the New York Times is still literally incapable of calling 45’s big lie a lie.

Headline today is Lie After Lie: Listen to How Trump Built His Alternate Reality.
posted by nobody at 5:35 AM on February 10 [12 favorites]


> On Twitter somebody said the defense team was acting like attorneys who knew they would never be paid.

They are literally the second-string legal team. They had eight days to prepare, an overwhelming amount of work for two lawyers working independently (Castor is at a personal injury firm, Schoen is a single-lawyer office).

Eight days would be doable in a major firm that can throw at the job as many bodies as they have available, and any conventional client at Trump's level of national prominence and (alleged) wealth would have had access to one; resorting to regional personal-injury lawyers wouldn't even have to be considered. But Trump has burned bridges with all the major firms so thoroughly that even staff which attempt to represent Trump are preemptively reprimanded or fired. (Alan Dershowitz has said that he would represent Trump if asked, but I doubt he would say that if there was a chance Trump would ask.)

Since Trump had no access to top-tier counsel, his first team was led by Butch Bowers and similarly composed of mostly independent lawyers. But they at least had four lawyers on staff rather than two. They quit after ten days over disputes with Trump about how to proceed and how they'd get paid. And I imagine that Schoen and Castor are currently contemplating that.
posted by at by at 5:45 AM on February 10 [6 favorites]


The problem with that very good New York times story about Trump's cascade of lies is that only now are they calling them lies. We all knew they were lies when he was making those statements, but for some reason the New York Times couldn't say it then.
posted by PhineasGage at 6:24 AM on February 10 [11 favorites]


only now are they calling them lies
NYT, 6/23/17, Trump's Lies
posted by neroli at 6:33 AM on February 10 [9 favorites]


I was hoping they would start with the first time he uttered that mail voting was dangerous and include every statement he made regarding the election all year - resulting in the big lie of a fraudulent election. If you put it together chronologically it becomes even more apparent how he assembled the entire clusterfuck, wound it up and turned it loose.

Absolutely, as a case of logic.

But most Republicans are impervious to that. Whatever slim, long-shot hope they have of actually getting a conviction relies on yanking those Republicans back to the emotional state they had on January 6, when they had real fear for their very lives (and maybe, for some of them, the Republic for which they supposedly stood as well) ,when they realized they'd been thrown from the bucking bronco they were trying to ride, and before the rodeo clowns of the media had rode in to publish "process" and "bipartisanship" and "LOL Biden wears a Rolex!!!111!" stories and save them.
posted by stevis23 at 6:39 AM on February 10 [11 favorites]




Oh please, an occasional use of "lie" is far far outweighed by the constant use of weasel words like ”baseless” e.g. "Major Networks Cut Away From Trump’s Baseless Fraud Claims.”
posted by PhineasGage at 6:43 AM on February 10 [15 favorites]


hoping they would start with the first time he uttered that mail voting was dangerous

bet they will; yesterday was about the constitutionality of the proceedings, due to negotiated structure/rules. expect the case for incitement to be made (or begun) today.
posted by 20 year lurk at 7:05 AM on February 10 [3 favorites]


There's too much attention about the futile task of trying to find morality, humanity, democracy in GOP senators. They are a lost cause. This impeachment should be focused on increasing public approval for impeachment conviction as far as humanly possible. Call witnesses. Make great arguments. Drag it out. If Democrats think that spending time making a great case is a politically bad move (it isn't!), they shouldn't have started. Cripes.
posted by mcstayinskool at 7:35 AM on February 10 [32 favorites]


That would be a pretty cool framing for the prosecution. "I am not here to convince everyone in this room of the former president's crimes, because I know there are some who will refuse to be convinced. I am here to tell the truth to the American people."
posted by Faint of Butt at 7:44 AM on February 10 [64 favorites]


Sublimity > ...Republicans in congress are doing what they do *not* because they are afraid of Trump. It's because they approve of what happened.

To make it more palatable, Republicans in Congress (and their constituents) don’t disapprove of what happened. A stamp of approval isn’t required to enable or endorse a populist demagogue: just a wink and averted gaze will do.
posted by cenoxo at 7:48 AM on February 10 [3 favorites]


Here is departing Washington Post executive editor Marty Baron admitting "We had to be much more forthright about Trump’s mendacity, his lies over the course of the administration. We needed to call them that from the very beginning."
posted by PhineasGage at 7:55 AM on February 10 [8 favorites]


I hope those guys are beginning to realize they're not getting paid and never were. It'd be delicious if he fired them.

My prediction: by Friday Castor and Schoen will be gone and replaced by a morose-looking kitten.
posted by ricochet biscuit at 8:03 AM on February 10 [44 favorites]


The news media, generally, never defined what Trump was doing accurately and contextually. The problem persists.
posted by zerobyproxy at 8:17 AM on February 10 [2 favorites]


Everyone strap in; there's supposed to be new (previously unseen) video footage presented today.
posted by jquinby at 8:19 AM on February 10 [5 favorites]


C-SPAN coverage starts in about 10 minutes at 11:55 am ET.
posted by box at 8:46 AM on February 10 [5 favorites]


Has there been any idea/speculation on what Castor meant when he said “I’ll be quite frank with you, we changed what we were going to do on account that we thought the House managers’ presentation was well done” yesterday?

(I'm wondering if "there was election fraud!" was a plank in the defense that was hastily removed because it only underscores Trump's centrality in all this. Trump's insistence on it was the reason his previous legal team walked out, yes?)
posted by mazola at 9:02 AM on February 10


Afraid I'm getting my hopes up too much for something "shocking" in the new footage, but would love a bombshell that can significantly move public opinion to an undeniable fever pitch. I know we've all written off victory as impossible, but nothing is impossible until it isn't.

As everyone has listed their own personal dream scenario, here's mine: while re-narrating the day they cruelly count down the minutes (with all forms of multimedia) in real time that Trump failed to intervene. Make it clear how long he was sitting on his hands while everyone's life was in danger. Hell, break a window in the chamber, make a point: this is what was happening here in real time! and he knew it! he waited HOURS to stop it! while our lives and our families were in danger.

That to me has to be the most damning thing: the failure to act. He had hours and hours to act, he didn't. Make it clear how long it was, because apparently the numbers on their own don't work: he fucking sat for hours on his hands while this terrorist attack was happening. Nail this MFer.
posted by andruwjones26 at 9:06 AM on February 10 [17 favorites]


With Republican senator-jurors reportedly staring down at their laps during yesterday's video presentation, I'm worried about how much it relied on on-screen text as the connective tissue between clips, a whole thread of argumentation these jurors literally didn't see.

I love the power of stark text on a black screen -- and get how its sense of impartiality has value here -- but I wonder if anyone considered adding a voice track for the remaining presentations starting today...
posted by nobody at 9:08 AM on February 10 [1 favorite]


Good framing andruwjones26. I would like to see the minute-by-minute lack of intervention too, and then contrasted with it any number of his almost-instanteous twitter rants about the most inane, immaterial things throughout his term.
posted by riverlife at 9:10 AM on February 10 [4 favorites]


At the end of his opening remarks yesterday, lead attorney for Trump, Bruce Castor, introduced his deputy to continue talking about the jurisdiction of the Senate. But instead of just stepping off the stage, he said:
“I’ll be quite frank with you. We changed what we were going to do on account that we thought the House Managers’ presentation was well done.”
and I literally lol’d
posted by East Manitoba Regional Junior Kabaddi Champion '94 at 9:11 AM on February 10 [4 favorites]


Please please please let him fire his attorneys and decide to represent himself...
posted by Cocodrillo at 9:16 AM on February 10 [7 favorites]


awesome parental warning.
posted by 20 year lurk at 9:19 AM on February 10


Popehat getting PTSD with this whole fire in a crowded theater.
posted by Your Childhood Pet Rock at 9:22 AM on February 10 [4 favorites]


Make it clear how long he was sitting on his hands while everyone's life was in danger.

Which was also former President Trump’s behavior during the COVID-19 pandemic. Without any leadership whatsoever, he avoids responsibility, waits to see what everyone else does first (and who succeeds), then steps in to take credit FTW. If they lose, he denies supporting them: loyalty only rolls uphill for the Donald.
posted by cenoxo at 9:25 AM on February 10 [15 favorites]


Genuinely pleasantly surprised to learn that Liz Cheney, nine of her Republican House colleagues, and presumably the majority of the Republican House Caucus who voted by secret ballot to keep her in their leadership, are partisan Democrats. Didn't see it coming
posted by East Manitoba Regional Junior Kabaddi Champion '94 at 9:27 AM on February 10 [3 favorites]


Hannity interviewed David Shoen last night. He said Castor was a good lawyer from a good firm but implied that Castor did not know he was to speak yesterday. I am not a lawyer, but how close is that to malpractice? I believe arrogance and ego are the driver but to not fully understand this serious process...to know how the trial works...the sequencing...man...
posted by zerobyproxy at 9:32 AM on February 10 [3 favorites]


The intentionally fraudulent defense mounted by Schoen was closer to malpractice than Castor. Forgive him, for he knows not that of which he speaks.
posted by East Manitoba Regional Junior Kabaddi Champion '94 at 9:34 AM on February 10 [1 favorite]


I was hoping they would start with the first time he uttered that mail voting was dangerous and include every statement he made regarding the election all year - resulting in the big lie of a fraudulent election. If you put it together chronologically it becomes even more apparent how he assembled the entire clusterfuck, wound it up and turned it loose.

From what I am seeing so far from today's testimony, the reason they didn't show that in yesterday's video is because they had a second video for release on this topic today.

Heh.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 9:35 AM on February 10 [9 favorites]


Please please please let him fire his attorneys and decide to represent himself...

“Believe me, no one know more about the law than I do. It’s unbelievable how quickly I learned all there was to know.”
posted by ricochet biscuit at 9:35 AM on February 10 [1 favorite]


The Provocation:

1. The Big Lie
2. Stop the Steal
3. Fight Like Hell to Stop the Steal

Rep. Joe Neguse (D-CO) is going back to last spring, and it's good.

'Either he won the election, or he would have some angry supporters who believed that if he lost, the election would have to be rigged.'
posted by box at 9:35 AM on February 10 [16 favorites]


From @Yamiche:

NEWS: The *new* evidence being shown by Democratic House Impeachment Managers today is previously unseen security camera footage shot from inside the Capitol. A Dem source says that the video will show "just how close Trump's mob came to senators, members of Congress and staff."

posted by jquinby at 9:35 AM on February 10 [7 favorites]


Donald Trump was a good informercial artist from a good talent agency, but he did not know he was going to become President of the United States
posted by East Manitoba Regional Junior Kabaddi Champion '94 at 9:36 AM on February 10 [6 favorites]


Stop the Steal's massive disinformation campaign connected to Roger Stone, CNN, November 14, 2020.

Pardons don’t come cheap.
posted by cenoxo at 9:50 AM on February 10 [19 favorites]


If Trump repeatedly gets a mistrial based on inadequate counsel, they'll never be able to bar him from office, and the Democratic Senate will never be able to pass any laws. It's genius really
posted by East Manitoba Regional Junior Kabaddi Champion '94 at 9:52 AM on February 10 [3 favorites]


I didn't see Seth Meyers yesterday (the day before yesterday? Will we ever recover from Trump time?)
Anyway, it is harsh. He reaches back to Obama's great mistake of letting the Bush Administration go. I think people who are not comedians or enjoy comedy should reflect on that.
posted by mumimor at 9:58 AM on February 10 [15 favorites]


@East Manitoba Regional Junior Kabaddi Champion '94 Good question. Who would declare a mistrial? Seriously, I have no clue...Clarence Thomas would take up the motion if presented to him, in a heartbeat.
posted by zerobyproxy at 10:00 AM on February 10


This is EXACTLY what I hoped for!
posted by pee tape at 10:02 AM on February 10 [5 favorites]


The Senate would have to vote for a mistrial, and they won’t.
posted by Huffy Puffy at 10:04 AM on February 10 [2 favorites]


"It's not fun to lose... I'm a Texas Democrat" [REAL]

I think that was appreciated on the floor.
posted by Wrinkled Stumpskin at 10:04 AM on February 10 [4 favorites]


Rep Joachim Castro (D-Texas) enumerating all the times Trump called the election was rigged. I hope he mentions that plenty of right wing politicians were re-elected which doesn’t make sense if it were rigged.
posted by TWinbrook8 at 10:05 AM on February 10 [5 favorites]


Okay, I know that this is partially a "how I personally process audio/video information" issue, but does anyone else wish that the trial managers would speak a little faster? I know they're conveying gravity and being good public speakers, but listening to Joaquin Castro (who is, indeed, a very good public speaker) is starting to make me feel a little restless.
posted by desuetude at 10:13 AM on February 10 [1 favorite]


For those that are following- request for updates if they start airing this previously unseen security footage? (I don't know what goods they have but really hoping it shows the Shit-Smearer in action. Bonus points if they're covered in Trump paraphernalia while doing so).
posted by andruwjones26 at 10:22 AM on February 10 [1 favorite]


Rep. Swalwell just stumbled briefly on his words and said "Commander in Tweet", which, yeah. God the last few years have been so fucking stupid.
posted by cortex at 10:29 AM on February 10 [43 favorites]


Adruwjones26 - so far they're just laying a whole lot of groundwork to prove that "Trump deliberately provoked his base into this" by showing a whooooooooooooooooole lot of clips from rallies and screenshots of tweets, both things Trump said and the reactions and responses of his base.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 10:36 AM on February 10 [2 favorites]


It's amazing how quickly I'd gotten used to not hearing Trump's voice.
posted by jquinby at 10:38 AM on February 10 [34 favorites]


it is potent to hear his nonsense juxtaposed with the calm and reasoned delivery of castro, swalwell and company.
posted by 20 year lurk at 10:40 AM on February 10 [1 favorite]


Eric Swallwell: In December, Trump spent $50 million from his legal defense fund to fund ads about fraud and stopping the steal. These ads run up until January 5. Lengthy details about Tweets, including multiple organizers saying 'The cavalry is coming, Mr. President!' to which he replied 'A great honor.'
posted by box at 10:40 AM on February 10 [16 favorites]


Michael T. van der Veen , a member of the IMPOTUSx2 impeachment team, called IMPOTUSx2 a "fucking crook" two years ago and sued IMPOTUSx2 last year for repeatedly claiming that mail voting is “ripe with fraud” without evidence.
posted by kirkaracha at 10:43 AM on February 10 [3 favorites]


That to me has to be the most damning thing: the failure to act. He had hours and hours to act, he didn't.

And they know it, because his defense tried to claim he was horrified with what happened and tried immediately to stop it. (Oh, yeah? Then he can come into the Senate chamber and tell us about it.)

Republicans know there's no defense of what Trump did, so in a way this clown show of a defense is unsurprising, but no less reprehensible. We must never let Republicans forget how they enabled and supported Trump, especially when they tried to pretend that they never approved of him, oh, no.
posted by Gelatin at 10:43 AM on February 10 [8 favorites]


It's amazing how quickly I'd gotten used to not hearing Trump's voice.

Agreed. Unfortunately, Trump’s voice will echo for a long time in America, and there will be people who want to hear it.
posted by cenoxo at 10:46 AM on February 10 [5 favorites]


With Republican senator-jurors reportedly staring down at their laps during yesterday's video presentation, I'm worried about how much it relied on on-screen text as the connective tissue between clips, a whole thread of argumentation these jurors literally didn't see.

I'm listening to all this on NPR, not watching, but found the audio of that presentation chilling on its own.

I do wish they'd read the tweets aloud in today's presentations, but it's a minor qualm.
posted by cheshyre at 10:54 AM on February 10 [2 favorites]


In the C-SPAN livestream I'm seeing, they are reading several of the Tweets.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 10:56 AM on February 10 [1 favorite]


They're reading aloud most tweets, but there were a few times they just paused and continued.
posted by cheshyre at 10:58 AM on February 10


one thing they haven't done yet, but could do, is present several hours of footage of him calling for violence from rally audience and reveling in it then, and at other times. seems to me it would help establish his taste for it and his knowledge that they'll be violent when he invites them to.
posted by 20 year lurk at 11:02 AM on February 10 [5 favorites]


They've just come out of recess, and based on them saying that they will now present Trump's "Increasingly desperate attempts to 'stop the steal'" that may be coming up.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 11:06 AM on February 10 [1 favorite]


My respect for Jamie Raskin and Joe Neguse goes up by the day.

Trump can hire the best widow robbers money can buy -- not that he will pay them as old habits never die -- but fat lot of good that will do him. Because facts. In detail.
posted by y2karl at 11:08 AM on February 10 [6 favorites]


Gosh, I forgot all of this stuff from before the Insurrection. Thankful the managers are showing all these clips.
posted by all about eevee at 11:25 AM on February 10 [5 favorites]


Someone in the press should be enquiring why, exactly, the senators weren't looking at the evidence, and if they consider themselves to be qualified to pass judgement without doing so. Although I guess this is part of the nothing matters strategy (see also: the legal team, the presidency).
posted by Wrinkled Stumpskin at 11:34 AM on February 10 [3 favorites]


during recess, at wapo, hohmann reported hawley's staff pushing back on post suggestion that he wasn't watching the presentation with assertion that he was studying trial briefs. hohmann claimed no reason to doubt that.
posted by 20 year lurk at 11:37 AM on February 10 [1 favorite]


Someone in the press should be enquiring why, exactly, the senators weren't looking at the evidence, and if they consider themselves to be qualified to pass judgement without doing so.

Lisa Desjardins has been doing a bang up job of keeping track of who's looking down and who's looking up and at what. By her account, Jamie Raskin got everyone's attention more than once.
posted by y2karl at 11:38 AM on February 10 [19 favorites]


Del Stacey Plaskett is awesome.
posted by double bubble at 11:54 AM on February 10 [14 favorites]


Del Stacey Plaskett is awesome.

not all heroes wear capelet sleeves
(but this one does)
posted by phunniemee at 11:56 AM on February 10 [20 favorites]


Georgia prosecutors open criminal investigation into Trump phone call

“This letter is notification that all records potentially related to the administration of the 2020 general election must be preserved, with particular care being given to set aside and preserve those that may be evidence of attempts to influence the actions of persons who were administering that election.“

Just a reminder that he's not off the hook for any state crimes. This one actually includes prison time, look at the code:

2016 Georgia Code
Title 21 - Elections
Chapter 2 - Elections and Primaries Generally
Article 15 - Miscellaneous Offenses
§ 21-2-604. Criminal solicitation to commit election fraud; penalties
(a) (1) A person commits the offense of criminal solicitation to commit election fraud in the first degree when, with intent that another person engage in conduct constituting a felony under this article, he or she solicits, requests, commands, importunes, or otherwise attempts to cause the other person to engage in such conduct.

(2) A person commits the offense of criminal solicitation to commit election fraud in the second degree when, with intent that another person engage in conduct constituting a misdemeanor under this article, he or she solicits, requests, commands, importunes, or otherwise attempts to cause the other person to engage in such conduct.

(b) (1) A person convicted of the offense of criminal solicitation to commit election fraud in the first degree shall be punished by imprisonment for not less than one nor more than three years.

(2) A person convicted of the offense of criminal solicitation to commit election fraud in the second degree shall be punished as for a misdemeanor.

(c) It is no defense to a prosecution for criminal solicitation to commit election fraud that the person solicited could not be guilty of the crime solicited.

(d) The provisions of subsections (a) through (c) of this Code section are cumulative and shall not supersede any other penal law of this state.
🎶 Georgia on my mind 🎶
posted by adept256 at 11:57 AM on February 10 [38 favorites]


Del. Plaskett is talking about the people in Texas that tried to run a Biden bus off the road, and how Trump responded by posting a video with fight music, joking about it, and calling them patriots.
posted by box at 11:58 AM on February 10 [36 favorites]


"engaging in violence for him made them patriots to [defendant]" for the win.
posted by 20 year lurk at 12:01 PM on February 10 [6 favorites]


And never forget that at a rally in Florida Little Marco Rubio parroted the same talking points about that Texas bus incident. These people don't always tacitly approve with a wink, sometimes they loudly go along with it.
posted by mcstayinskool at 12:02 PM on February 10 [17 favorites]


Lisa Desjardins has been doing a bang up job

She was there on the day, upstairs in the rotunda looking down as the mob came in. Must have been pretty scary. I watch PBS newshour most days and she's been doing the job from home like most of their correspondents. Her black and white cat has a favorite spot on the couch, and I doubt it's an accident that Lisa always has them in frame by her shoulder. Look out for her cat.
posted by adept256 at 12:03 PM on February 10 [13 favorites]


I see the twitter accounts from which videos are taken are credited in the video exhibit (as they should be of course.) How weird it must be to see yourself cited in a flippin' impeachment exhibit!
posted by stevis23 at 12:04 PM on February 10 [11 favorites]


Del. Plaskett just said that the original permit for the Jan. 6 event said they'd stay at the Ellipse until the votes were counted, and that Trump's team were the ones who decided to include the march from the Ellipse to the Capitol.
posted by box at 12:09 PM on February 10 [4 favorites]


The original permit did not allow any march from the Ellipse, as I understood it.
posted by Bella Donna at 12:11 PM on February 10 [1 favorite]


Sorry for the nitpick. I didn't know the permit did not allow a march and that seems like a telling bit of evidence.
posted by Bella Donna at 12:17 PM on February 10 [6 favorites]


I like how they make the Republicans look like cowards.
The impeachment managers have done their homework. Big time.
posted by mumimor at 12:29 PM on February 10 [14 favorites]


The impeachment managers have done their homework.

To be fair, the defendant gave them a lot of evidence to work with....
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 12:31 PM on February 10 [12 favorites]


Del. Plaskett just said that the original permit for the Jan. 6 event said they'd stay at the Ellipse until the votes were counted, and that Trump's team were the ones who decided to include the march from the Ellipse to the Capitol.

I'm wondering why the permit wouldn't have all the restrictions familiar to everyone who has marched at the park.
posted by mikelieman at 12:33 PM on February 10 [6 favorites]


This one actually includes prison time

Even better: The Republican governor of Georgia cannot abuse his office to issue a pardon. In this state, pardons are issued by committee, through a state board. Before being up for parole, Trump would also have to pay Georgia any fines or penalties levied against him, and he has a few Russian creditors at the head of that line.
posted by They sucked his brains out! at 12:44 PM on February 10 [2 favorites]


@mikelieman I raised this point on the day of the riot. Everything that happened that day, is not an anomaly. Stuff like this, in emergency planning, in a city of this size and importance, just doesn't happen. It is for this reason, many of our European allies intelligence agencies believe the riot happened with the help of political insiders. That through a blend of inaction and slow-walking the response (at a minimum) this transpired. Emergency managers not only ask questions about events, but plan against them. They build-in all kinds of response measures down to the last detail. Like: if the National Guard is brought in, where do they get food, water and bathrooms? Who is that point of contact in charge of each? What are their mobile phone numbers? Have we verified that the phone numbers are in working order? Is there a secondary point of contact? Then they write a plan. A written plan with contingencies. So, I truly hope that this gets a robust investigation.
posted by zerobyproxy at 12:47 PM on February 10 [32 favorites]


...Her black and white cat has a favorite spot on the couch, and I doubt it's an accident that Lisa always has them in frame by her shoulder. Look out for her cat.

Rocky Desjardins! As an eyewitness, I can testify he maintains a clean butt.
posted by y2karl at 12:47 PM on February 10 [15 favorites]


Returning after stepping outside for a bit. Have they rolled the new video?
posted by jquinby at 12:51 PM on February 10


@mikelieman I raised this point on the day of the riot. Everything that happened that day, is not an anomaly. Stuff like this, in emergency planning, in a city of this size and importance, just doesn't happen. It is for this reason, many of our European allies intelligence agencies believe the riot happened with the help of political insiders. That through a blend of inaction and slow-walking the response (at a minimum) this transpired.

I have a feeling the impeachment managers will get to this, because it seems Del. Plaskett opened that box already.
posted by mumimor at 12:51 PM on February 10 [1 favorite]


Even better: The Republican governor of Georgia cannot abuse his office to issue a pardon. In this state, pardons are issued by committee, through a state board.

I was just reading about this. Meet Jacqueline Bunn. Actually you can listen to her give her own account of her role as she accepts this 2017 award:

Ms. Bunn was presented with the "Torch Award" by the Atlanta Alumnae Chapter of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc. This prestigious honor recognizes women who have excelled in multiple leadership roles throughout metropolitan Atlanta.

I believe the power of the pardon is in safe hands. And once again, a powerful African American woman in Georgia saves the fucking day. We need to set up a fund or something.
posted by adept256 at 12:58 PM on February 10 [20 favorites]


Have they rolled the new video?

Not yet. Session has restarted.
posted by cenoxo at 1:10 PM on February 10


Raskin confirms this is where the graphic stuff will be.
posted by stevis23 at 1:12 PM on February 10


updates if they start airing this previously unseen security footage

content warning, now, suggests footage imminent, andruwjones26 et al.
plaskett & swalwell to recreate the events.
posted by 20 year lurk at 1:12 PM on February 10


Raskin mentions/drops that Rep Plaskett worked for Ashcroft! The anointed one!
posted by From Bklyn at 1:14 PM on February 10


Stacey Plaskett (D) Impeachment Manager — WP bio.
posted by cenoxo at 1:18 PM on February 10


Starting audio clips from Capitol Police during riot.
posted by zerobyproxy at 1:18 PM on February 10 [1 favorite]


Please tell me that the Republischmucks are watching this instead of looking at their laps.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 1:21 PM on February 10


Footage now.
posted by zerobyproxy at 1:25 PM on February 10


shit I think they just ran the wrong clip
posted by jquinby at 1:31 PM on February 10


I watched a bit of the livestream. This must be horrrrrrrrible for people who were in the chamber that day, to watch the security camera footage of how close the attackers were.
posted by wenestvedt at 1:34 PM on February 10 [1 favorite]


She recovered, it's okay
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 1:34 PM on February 10 [4 favorites]


The kid walked out to the living room just in time for her to see just how much of a gat danged hero Goodman is.
posted by Ruki at 1:35 PM on February 10 [12 favorites]


"...and documented their crimes on social media" will never get old to me.
posted by jquinby at 1:49 PM on February 10 [11 favorites]


For some reason I keep hearing “President Trump’s mob” as “President Trump’s mom.” And she is doing all kinds of awful stuff.
posted by snofoam at 1:54 PM on February 10 [10 favorites]


I know this is a tiny, unimportant side detail, but I've spent so much of my life listening to conservatives complain about the coarsening of culture and the loss of decorum and acting shocked and offended (and therefore refusing to respond to the point) when any Democrat uses any harsh language. And I have never in my entire life heard so many obscenities on broadcast network TV as I have in the last five hours -- all from Republican rioters or officials.

Which, like, it's never been a surprise; Fox News used to make hay of the incredible coarseness of The Simpsons on the Fox Network -- create the offensive material and then profit off the material itself AND complaining about it -- but man, I just can't get over hearing multiple f-bombs on daytime broadcast NBC. It's the little metonymy of the larger violation of norms for me, I guess.
posted by Eyebrows McGee at 1:57 PM on February 10 [40 favorites]


"I sent a text message to my wife. "I love you and the babies." I imagine many of you sent a similar message." -Rep. Eric Swallwell
posted by OnTheLastCastle at 2:00 PM on February 10 [8 favorites]


It's something of a relief that all the bullshit pearl-clutching of conservatives about the moral decline of America and comparisons to the fall of Rome are pretty much over now, since they were the ones who elected Caligula as their President and demi-god.
posted by wabbittwax at 2:01 PM on February 10 [12 favorites]


Warning for Babbitt's death
posted by Iris Gambol at 2:04 PM on February 10


It's the little metonymy of the larger violation of norms for me, I guess.

From what used to be called the moral majority, no less. And they are now the ones who embrace blatant explicit racism and hate and don't understand cancel culture (see Clinton's impeachment). Interesting point, and in no way an unimportant side detail, I think. Hypocrisy, denial, and "I've never heard of them" or "I don't know how to say Q-on or whatever" embodied.
posted by Snowishberlin at 2:06 PM on February 10 [4 favorites]


Also FYI, there's a clip from inside the House gallery; what the reps are saying to each other in that clip is "take your pins off" so they don't stick out as being Congress members.

I say this because I spent several confused seconds wondering why members of Congress were telling each other to "take your pants off".
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 2:07 PM on February 10 [12 favorites]


I thought they said "pens".
posted by OnTheLastCastle at 2:07 PM on February 10 [1 favorite]


Reminder some Black congresspeople opted to keep their pins on, so Capitol Police would know them
posted by Iris Gambol at 2:08 PM on February 10 [55 favorites]


... the incredible coarseness of The Simpsons ???

Oh, please. As compared to what ? South Park ? American Dad ? The Simpsons are warm Gerbers Apple Banana Oatmeal in comparison to the likes of those.
posted by y2karl at 2:09 PM on February 10 [4 favorites]


As compared to what? South Park? American Dad? The Simpsons are warm Gerbers Apple Banana Oatmeal in comparison to the likes of those.

To you, yes.

To the hypocrites handwringing about how those Antifa/BLM people and Hollywood elites are corrupting everyone, the Simpsons are nasty.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 2:11 PM on February 10 [4 favorites]


"58 steps between rioters and senators" detail is solid, as police blocked hallway with their own bodies
posted by Iris Gambol at 2:11 PM on February 10 [5 favorites]


and a replay of this clip - as officers rushed to protect YOU -- is excellent
posted by Iris Gambol at 2:12 PM on February 10 [14 favorites]


I never doubted it but the part of the presentation that walked through the lead up to the woman being shot showed very clearly that the officer saved lives with that one shot. I didn’t realize how close the reps and staffers were. If the mob had come through that door it would have been very bad. I’m a little shaken by it to be honest.
posted by double bubble at 2:13 PM on February 10 [5 favorites]


Oh, please. As compared to what? South Park? American Dad?

I think you need to consider the timing a bit more. The Simpsons debuted in the late 80s or early 90s, right? And South Park in 1996 or 7? And when was Bill Clinton impeached? I completely agree that the "outrage" over the Simpsons was an R talking point through most of the early 90s. My mother even "heard" that it was an "anti-family" show and wouldn't allow us to watch it, even though her cultural criticism skills are somewhat lacking. But I think the overlap between The Simpsons and South Park, in terms of the 90s, isn't quite what you make of it.
posted by Snowishberlin at 2:14 PM on February 10 [10 favorites]


what the reps are saying to each other in that clip is "take your pins off" so they don't stick out as being Congress members.

Must be nice if that's all you have to take off. If your name is Rashida or Ilhan you can't exactly take off your skin and gender.
posted by adept256 at 2:14 PM on February 10 [25 favorites]


"Ted Cruz was going to sell us out all along" - rioter rummaging through papers
posted by Iris Gambol at 2:15 PM on February 10 [10 favorites]


Swalwell comes from a law-enforcement family, dad & two younger brothers. Now, footage of the 5-hour siege.
posted by Iris Gambol at 2:17 PM on February 10 [4 favorites]




People showed up at the rally with bear spray.

These people never meant for this to be a peaceful assembly. There is no reason to bring bear spray to a peaceful protest.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 2:19 PM on February 10 [47 favorites]


“We have been flanked and lost the line.”

This is tough stuff to hear but it’s so important that it all get laid out so clearly.
posted by double bubble at 2:20 PM on February 10 [4 favorites]


Body cam footage from MPDC, that's new, showing attackers
posted by Iris Gambol at 2:21 PM on February 10 [3 favorites]


Omg. Shaken to my core.
posted by double bubble at 2:22 PM on February 10


from 4:26 pm -- while Trump sat on his hands down the street at the WH, watching the TV.

Quote from veteran officer who was dragged down the steps, tased, & had a heart attack
posted by Iris Gambol at 2:22 PM on February 10 [4 favorites]


Ah man this clip is horrible to watch.
posted by jquinby at 2:24 PM on February 10 [1 favorite]


They can never again claim 'back the blue'.
posted by adept256 at 2:24 PM on February 10 [8 favorites]


This is hard to watch.
posted by y2karl at 2:25 PM on February 10 [1 favorite]


Christ, Officer Hodges crushed between the doors
posted by Iris Gambol at 2:25 PM on February 10 [3 favorites]


Recess for DINNER, Chuck, who is eating after that ending
posted by Iris Gambol at 2:27 PM on February 10 [5 favorites]


I've seen the video before, and it hurts every time.

Jesus.

Jesus.

.
posted by meese at 2:28 PM on February 10 [4 favorites]


It's not very often that I'm fully engaged with something to the exclusion of everything else, so I've got to say that I've been literally glued to the screen for the past 4+ hours. I assume the reaction to this afternoon's presentation has been similarly positive?
posted by mikelieman at 2:28 PM on February 10 [6 favorites]


tr**p has never enjoyed such ratings
posted by 20 year lurk at 2:30 PM on February 10


I have a bunch of deadlines and it's my bedtime but I just couldn't turn off the video stream of the live presentation after I brought it up. Whatever else happens, the House team has done an amazing job of documenting this for the American people and putting it on the record.

(I will also say that I wish the guy who moderates Meet the Press to shut the fuck up about how McConnell is a traditionalist because that is malarky and I don't want to hear it. I have to go to bed so I can skip additional pointless pontification.)
posted by Bella Donna at 2:35 PM on February 10 [11 favorites]


Random-unscreened-CSPAN-caller time!
posted by box at 2:38 PM on February 10 [1 favorite]


I'm morbidly curious about how the defence and the Republican senators will attempt to get out of this.
The rioters wanted to killed the Republican Vice President
The rioters killed a police officer and injured more than a hundred others
The rioters defiled Congress
How do they get to be the upholders of the Constitution and the defenders of law and order if they let this pass?

(yes, I know, don't waste time explaining this to me. Call your Senators).
posted by mumimor at 2:38 PM on February 10 [14 favorites]


If by positive you mean sometimes I break down crying uncontrollably because this is who we are. But yes, this is the most compelling thing I've watched. The case could not be more undeniably clear yet it can somehow reveal new horrors each time you see a clip.

edit: They get away with it by having FOX News not show the trial. They cut away from it awhile ago.
posted by OnTheLastCastle at 2:39 PM on February 10 [8 favorites]


Interesting that Fox would cut away from what is clearly NEWSWORTHY information, since their defense against the voting machine company's lawsuit they're claiming that all they were doing was sharing "newsworthy information" with the public. It's almost like nothing they say means anything.
posted by wabbittwax at 2:46 PM on February 10 [11 favorites]


leader schumer just opened statement noting "on break for dinner. i don't think any of us feel like eating...."
posted by 20 year lurk at 2:50 PM on February 10 [8 favorites]


off to remind my senator to skip the Lindsey Graham hug 'n praise at the conclusion of this impeachment

[btw, on Sunday, George Shultz passed away, at 100 years old - Biden's statement]
posted by Iris Gambol at 3:06 PM on February 10 [5 favorites]


It makes me depressed because what will ever be enough to overcome Republican tribalism? What will ever be fucking enough for these people? Does Trump have to light the Republic on fire and piss on the ashes before they stop being so spineless?
posted by Your Childhood Pet Rock at 3:13 PM on February 10 [9 favorites]


I literally don't think anything could be enough. Trump could have nuked the reddest of red states and nobody would care.
posted by jenfullmoon at 3:17 PM on February 10 [11 favorites]


The MAGA Twitter spin seems to be focusing on a claim that Brian Sicknick died of "natural causes".
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 3:19 PM on February 10 [1 favorite]


The MAGA Twitter spin seems to be focusing on a claim that Brian Sicknick died of "natural causes".

According to them, so did everyone else of COVID. The just happened to die while they had COVID. Science, whatever.
posted by Snowishberlin at 3:24 PM on February 10 [5 favorites]


probably the whirlwind. the naturalest cause.
posted by 20 year lurk at 3:26 PM on February 10 [4 favorites]


An assassination. A terrorist attack. That's where it's headed. Maybe that will be thing. I remember when that official from Georgia warned about Trump's rhetoric, 'somebody's going to get shot, somebody's going to get killed'. Well, it came true. I don't think the insurrectionists are done yet. Will an atrocity be enough though?
posted by adept256 at 3:27 PM on February 10 [4 favorites]


Technically, Covid IS a natural cause. So I guess they're right about that part?
posted by wabbittwax at 3:28 PM on February 10 [1 favorite]


who am I kidding the fuckers will blame antifa
posted by adept256 at 3:28 PM on February 10 [3 favorites]


I think you need to consider the timing a bit more.

Point taken, my bad. I could have read more closely and seen the sentence as a reference to Fox rhetorical hypocrisy rather than as an offered personal opinion.
posted by y2karl at 3:30 PM on February 10 [2 favorites]


Webster's Dictionary defines "irredeemable" as...

Can I have a law degree now? But seriously, it was never going to be about directly overcoming tribalism. That ship sailed and sank a long time ago. A major factor in all of this seems to be wealthy corporate donors who don't want to lose face in front of the consumers who feed them. And those wealthy corporate donors are the ones who influence the Republicans more than actual human beings do.

Remember that "knock it off" letter corporate executives wrote to essentially force the transition to begin? The fact that the impeachment managers are playing the emotional card so heavily and so directly to the public means the Democratic party might have finally learned something about this game.
posted by Arson Lupine at 3:30 PM on February 10 [7 favorites]


No an atrocity won't be enough. I grew up in this delusion, and it's horrible. Many of these people were raised on the idea that "a war is coming." And in their foolishness. they want it and want it badly. The Civil War was a glorious...the most glorious time...in their mental image of the country. Last time I was in Austin I walked out of a store in the airport with t-shirts emblazoned, "Most Likely to Secede." They want "the War" and they definitely want it to be a race war.
posted by Abehammerb Lincoln at 3:31 PM on February 10 [14 favorites]


I'm morbidly curious about how the defence and the Republican senators will attempt to get out of this.

<devils-advocate>:
The rioters wanted to killed the Republican Vice President
They were speaking figuratively of course, carried away by the excitement. That effigy gallows was merely symbolic, rope too short, wouldn't hang a mouse.

The rioters killed a police officer and injured more than a hundred others
Unfortunately, they were innocent dupes of a corrupt, deep state regime. Thoughts & prayers, eggs & omelette, etc.

The rioters defiled Congress
Congress was already defiled by decades of illegal elections. It needed purifying.

How do they get to be the upholders of the Constitution and the defenders of law and order if they let this pass?
Unlike the demonic Democrats, no God-blessed Republican was fraudulently elected to office. Rest assured: it's all in God's manifest destiny.
</devils-advocate>
posted by cenoxo at 3:32 PM on February 10 [3 favorites]


Fox rhetorical hypocrisy

Isn't it always?
posted by Snowishberlin at 3:34 PM on February 10 [1 favorite]


Ignorant, angry, hateful people are always going to be the biggest marks, and there will always be people ready to bleed them dry: televangelists, Fox News, the Republican Party, etc. There will always be a structure to feed and bleed the dregs of humanity.
posted by snofoam at 3:38 PM on February 10 [9 favorites]


I think they need to play that clip again, the rioters rifling through the senate desk of Ted Cruz:
“Look—‘Objection to counting the electoral votes of the State of Arizona,’” the man says, adding, “He was gonna sell us out all along.” [He then reverses himself and decides he’s “with us”.] “Hawley, Cruz?” says the second man. “I think Cruz would want us to do this... So I think we’re good.”
Replay it, just to see if Cruz squirms. Because the majority Republican male reaction seems to be that, aside from Mike Pence, they weren’t personally in danger that day if the mob had caught up with them (not like the women, minorities, Chuck Schumer, staffers and those Capitol police-types who are paid to protect them). Besides, this whole trial is unconstitutional and we have rambling third-rate lawyers who will prove it.
posted by TWinbrook8 at 3:43 PM on February 10 [10 favorites]


They were speaking figuratively of course, carried away by the excitement. That effigy gallows was merely symbolic, rope too short, wouldn't hang a mouse.

I'll allow it's an effigy gallows, however if they'll tie a noose to an effigy gallows, why wouldn't they tie their nooses to the actual scaffolding that the insurrectionists had occupied? The rioters chanting "Hang Mike Pence" really does speak to premeditation.
posted by mikelieman at 3:53 PM on February 10 [6 favorites]


Now it comes: Two hours in, Donald Trump did not deploy the National guard
posted by mumimor at 4:15 PM on February 10 [10 favorites]


Can anyone explain what it is Mike Lee claims he didn't say, (which he probably did say)?
posted by mumimor at 4:35 PM on February 10


I don’t think the presenters attributed any statements to Lee, himself. They had tape of the voice message that Trump left on his phone (which had to come from him.)
posted by Sublimity at 4:37 PM on February 10 [1 favorite]


suspect he's saying he didn't report as to the content of the telephone call with tuberville.

obvious solution: swear him in and have him testify! and other witnesses!
posted by 20 year lurk at 4:38 PM on February 10 [3 favorites]


Republican Mike Lee says something attributed to him is not accurate, but he won't actually say what's not accurate. Per Kyle Griffin
posted by TWinbrook8 at 4:39 PM on February 10 [2 favorites]


It's regarding the call Trump made to Lee (intending to call Tuberville) during the attack. Lee didn't say what part(s) of the House Managers' claims about that call were false.

I'm no parliamentarian and don't know the Senate rules, but it seems to me that if the Senate chooses to allow witnesses, Lee could be called as a witness at that time and testify regarding that call. If the Senate doesn't hear from witnesses, then there's no means for Lee to challenge the HMs' statements.
posted by DevilsAdvocate at 4:40 PM on February 10 [3 favorites]


And now they’re adjoining for the day.
posted by TWinbrook8 at 4:42 PM on February 10


My understanding is that the truth of the newspaper account in which he's cited, that's what he's objecting to and wishes stricken, as the truth reveals things about him he'd much rather not be known. By making this stink and trying to be removed from the record, the record will reflect the stink he made about it and cement these details and truths much to his chagrin.
posted by riverlife at 4:42 PM on February 10 [7 favorites]


So sort of a Barbara Streisand situation?
posted by mumimor at 4:44 PM on February 10 [10 favorites]


raskin withdrew the press report of lee's alleged account of the call to tuberville as unnecessary to the case; suggests it may be reintroduced if necessary.
posted by 20 year lurk at 4:45 PM on February 10 [3 favorites]


the record will reflect the stink he made about it and cement these details and truths much to his chagrin.

And right on queue, CSPAN-2 replays the part of the HMs' case about the call.
posted by DevilsAdvocate at 4:45 PM on February 10 [3 favorites]


This has been a riveting 6 hours or so. I don't believe for a second that Republicans will vote to convict, but the House Impeachment managers are handing down a powerful historical document that will serve as the primer and the template for all future discussions about Trump's insurrection. This is really good work.
posted by Eyebrows McGee at 4:47 PM on February 10 [71 favorites]


And hearing it again, it really doesn't sound that bad for Lee. Trump calls Lee's phone, thinking it's Tuberville's. Lee says no, this is Lee, and hands over his phone to Tuberville, and that's the end of Lee's involvement in the call. So I don't know what Lee has to complain about.
posted by DevilsAdvocate at 4:50 PM on February 10 [4 favorites]


But Lee knows what he has to complain to about, and now I want to know what Lee knows.
posted by Ruki at 4:54 PM on February 10 [26 favorites]


I just think that the Republican senators have literal threats to their lives and their families lives, and they react to that in different ways. But I might be wrong, obviously.
Still, think of those Republicans, many going through what must be the worst trauma in their lives, and still planning to protect Trump. They should be all in on deprogramming the cultists, but they aren't and probably can't be. Pence is out there couch-surfing. Nearly all of them are caught up in a miasma of lies.
Who among us would have thought five years ago that Romney would be the honorable person? This is some weird shit.
posted by mumimor at 5:16 PM on February 10 [10 favorites]


Has anyone produced a video yet that juxtaposes footage of the violent insurrectionists against the GOP and FOX cultists claiming the riot was in fact "mostly peaceful"? And can someone explain how GOP Sen Ron Johnson can say he doesn't hold Trump responsible for what happened on Jan 6, he blames only the rioters, AS IF THE RIOTERS WERE NOT THERE PER TRUMP'S SPECIFIC REQUEST? As if 6+ hours of visual evidence has not shown irrefutably that Trump wanted a riot. Trump planned a riot and Trump was happy with the riot he got? JFC
posted by pjsky at 5:16 PM on February 10 [6 favorites]


Just the fact of Trump calling for Tuberville taken together with the audio of Giuliani leaving a message for Tuberville on the wrong phone do a lot of work without needing Lee to cooperate.
posted by jason_steakums at 5:18 PM on February 10 [15 favorites]


They should be all in on deprogramming the cultists, but they aren't and probably can't be.

Republicans are not victims, here. Every one of them chose to assist in all of Donald J. Trump's crimes over the last four years. Even Mitt Romney, who applied for a cabinet job in his administration. The roles that Republicans have played in the conspiracy to overthrow our government are well-documented and still ongoing, to this day.
posted by They sucked his brains out! at 5:36 PM on February 10 [30 favorites]


They shouldn't get to both use the lies of Fox News et al AND then get away with "we didn't know we were lying to people and getting rich and powerful from it!"
posted by Abehammerb Lincoln at 5:39 PM on February 10 [3 favorites]


there's this principle from tort law known as the egg-shell skull rule which notes you take your victim as you find them: if your victim is exceptionally fragile, and is injured though you only gently battered them, you are nonetheless liable for that injury. i don't think there is an analogous rule for incitement, but it seems to me the case should be made that, if you wind up a mob of violent, ignorant and credulous persons (whom you have convened and whose violence, ignorance and credulity you are aware of and have specifically cultivated) your plausibly-deniable incitement through figurative language -- as the defense team of somnambulist & summonambulance are sure to attempt to argue -- is nevertheless culpable.

not to suggest i have any doubt that the persuasive case for incitement has already been conclusively made. but as a rebuttal for the obdurate, susceptible to that plausible deniability. that and the fact that, if they were being exhorted to "fight" by voting for republicans in two years, the capitol on jan. 6 this year was the wrong place to direct them.
posted by 20 year lurk at 5:41 PM on February 10 [9 favorites]


Republicans are not victims, here. Every one of them chose to assist in all of Donald J. Trump's crimes over the last four years. Even Mitt Romney, who applied for a cabinet job in his administration. The roles that Republicans have played in the conspiracy to overthrow our government are well-documented and still ongoing, to this day.

I totally agree, so let me reframe it: they should be doing all they can to pretend they had no part in this. But they are sitting there with their pitcher of cool-aid, ready to have another big slurp.
Maybe I'm optimistic, but my sense is that a large majority of Americans are looking at this and saying WTF. There will always be a minority who are batshit-insane, but for most what happened on Jan 6th was far over the top. And this impeachment trial is reminding people just how insane it was.
posted by mumimor at 5:43 PM on February 10 [7 favorites]


Has there been any other references to the unusually informed movements of insurrectionists within the Capitol? Eric Swalwell alluded to outside coordination when he remarked about the model with the red, blue, and yellow dots being purposefully degraded for security reasons, and I thought he was going to follow up on it, but maybe they're saving that for later?
posted by RonButNotStupid at 5:51 PM on February 10 [1 favorite]


it seems to me the case should be made that, if you wind up a mob of violent, ignorant and credulous persons (whom you have convened and whose violence, ignorance and credulity you are aware of and have specifically cultivated) your plausibly-deniable incitement through figurative language -- as the defense team of somnambulist & summonambulance are sure to attempt to argue -- is nevertheless culpable.

For that matter, there's no actual requirement in law that your incitement actually cause anything. It just has to be the sort of thing that would be expected to cause imminent violence*. Which means two things: it doesn't have to result in any violence, but also you can incite someone to do something even if they would have done it regardless.

It's maybe a useful part of the case to prove that what a was said was the sort of thing that would cause violence by proving that it did cause the violence, but strictly speaking that's not necessary.

* er, "imminent lawless action"
posted by BungaDunga at 5:53 PM on February 10 [9 favorites]


Who among us would have thought five years ago that Romney would be the honorable person? This is some weird shit.

I'm carry no water for Mittens, but can you imagine how insufferably sanctimonious Orrin Hatch would sound right now.
posted by JackFlash at 6:33 PM on February 10 [3 favorites]


Officer Goodman running down the hall and directing Romney to safety

This guy - can we promote him to Greatman?
posted by adept256 at 6:37 PM on February 10 [22 favorites]


They can never again claim 'back the blue'.
posted by adept256


Sure they can, and will, and most of their voters will lap it up, without a backwards glance.

That's the problem.
posted by Pouteria at 6:43 PM on February 10 [24 favorites]


my sense is that a large majority of Americans are looking at this and saying WTF.

My sense is that a dangerously large minority of Americans are just going to keep on looking at anything but tl;dr C-SPAN, as well as doing whatever else it takes to avoid having to admit to themselves that they've been scammed by Fox, scammed by Turnip, and scammed by every other miserable Republican fuck they keep on voting in.

For a dangerously large minority of Americans, there will never be a Surely This moment. Their spineless and opportunistic representatives will never vote to convict Their Guy regardless of this frankly overwhelming compilation of evidence against him, and members of the reality-based community need to bear this in mind and refuse to let the next consequence of it take them by surprise when it happens.

These people are blinkered ideologues for whom the Republican party is just another sports team. These are fans above all else and their tribal loyalty is ironclad. You'll never peel off more than a few of them with any amount of factual evidence, and all of them are going to dismiss this as a show trial just like the ones the Commies used to run just as soon as some Fox shouting head spoonfeeds them that spurious equivalence.

The only way to keep a lid on the damage that this minority can do and will continue to do is to acknowledge that they will always remain a force to be reckoned with in American politics, remain vigilant, and keep as many of their representatives away from any conceivable lever of power as can humanly be achieved.

The unfortunate situation we find ourselves in right now is needing to share a world with a large number of people who have given the rest of us no workable choice but to make their endless whining over feeling disempowered into a self-fulfilled reality.
posted by flabdablet at 6:44 PM on February 10 [61 favorites]


May I offer my enormous gratitude to you all for posting these comments? I find seeing the former president’s face and hearing his voice so upsetting I’ve only tuned into the PBS NewsHour recap and this thread. Thank you for letting me know what’s happening without triggering too much anxiety. Also, y’all are smart and moral folks. And courageous to process this important moment. I’m going back under the covers with my cat, now.
posted by zenzenobia at 7:18 PM on February 10 [40 favorites]


Given the rest of us no workable choice but to make their endless whining over feeling disempowered into a self-fulfilled reality.

That's the conclusion I've come to. We can't and aren't going to ever placate these people. We need to brace ourselves for their aggression though because they hate being disempowered. I pray to God there are more of us than there are of them and the indifferent people.
posted by ichomp at 7:50 PM on February 10 [11 favorites]


David Frum dumps on the Republican senators, using "Liddle Marco" Rubio as Exhibit A: "There Is No Defense—Only Complicity."
The remorseless, crushing power of the House managers’ evidence, all backed by horrifying real-time audio and video recordings, shuttered any good-faith defense of Trump on the merits of the case. The constitutional defense—that it’s impossible to convict a president if he leaves office between his impeachment and his trial—was rejected by 56 senators yesterday, not least because it defies a quarter millennium of federal and state precedents.

There is no defense. There is only complicity, whether motivated by weakness and fear or by shared guilt. And the House managers forced every Republican senator to feel that complicity from the inside out.
posted by PhineasGage at 8:03 PM on February 10 [21 favorites]


The unfortunate situation we find ourselves in right now is needing to share a world with a large number of people who have given the rest of us no workable choice but to make their endless whining over feeling disempowered into a self-fulfilled reality.
posted by flabdablet


Indeed. They are only a force to be reckoned with in the first place because of the grossly disproportionate distribution of electoral power in their favour, primarily in the Senate, but also in the Reps.

Fix that, and you can largely ignore these people.

Unfortunately they know that the electoral imbalance is the only reason they get so much sway, and there is no way in hell they will give up that entrenched advantage willingly. It is all they have left. They certainly can't claim superior performance, policy, or morality.

But there is no alternative. A more democratic redistribution of electoral power is a critical and urgent necessity if the USA is to even survive, let alone prosper. It cannot wait any longer, the USA is already on the precipice, with all that implies for the rest of the world.

Even the best possible path from here is a very difficult and dangerous one. But it must be taken.

In fairness, the Dems seem to now grasp all this.
posted by Pouteria at 8:15 PM on February 10 [24 favorites]


There is no defense. There is only complicity, whether motivated by weakness and fear or by shared guilt. And the House managers forced every Republican senator to feel that complicity from the inside out.
I suspect that Frum has for some time been feeling that same shared guilt for his own complicity in the bloodstained neocon adventures in the Middle East. That's the best explanation I can come up with for the fact that much of his recent writing has contained at least nods in the direction of consensus reality, as opposed to the endless reams of lying partisan chaff he could so consistently be relied upon to churn out while W was in office.
posted by flabdablet at 8:48 PM on February 10 [8 favorites]


A more democratic redistribution of electoral power is a critical and urgent necessity if the USA is to even survive, let alone prosper. It cannot wait any longer, the USA is already on the precipice, with all that implies for the rest of the world.

This. The undemocratic nature of our government is reaching a breaking point.
posted by ichomp at 9:01 PM on February 10 [8 favorites]


In case any of y'all are reading this, I want to say a huge thank you to all the people who spent hours and hours compiling evidence and writing summaries to make today happen. Things ran smoothly today and the terror was laid out so clearly. I found myself already having nearly forgotten so much that led up to the January sixth nonsense, and you built a clear trail as to what had been happening and what did happen. Thank you for putting in the work. It was full-on historical. Brave and just and well-done.
posted by lauranesson at 9:08 PM on February 10 [35 favorites]


I'm an American watching from overseas, and this thread has been very useful in contextualizing what I'm seeing and making it very clear how good the impeachment managers' case really is - thank you to everyone here providing links and insightful commentary. I especially appreciate those of you who pointed out how the footage and documentation will become part of the historical record, an angle I hadn't considered before - the juxtaposition of the former president's speeches and tweets with the video footage of the horrific violence will live on even if conviction doesn't happen.
posted by mdonley at 9:37 PM on February 10 [5 favorites]


...There is no defense. There is only complicity, whether motivated by weakness and fear or by shared guilt. And the House managers forced every Republican senator to feel that complicity from the inside out.

That feeling of complicity will not change the final outcome of this Senate trial. The weak will be no less weak for being shamed by their weakness; those who share Trump’s guilt will not cease to share it because that guilt has been blazed to the world. But at least the House case can restrict the personal and political options of the weak and the guilty. If a senator like Marco Rubio did not feel his world tightening around him, he would not look so haunted. The Republican senators are shrinking before the eyes of the whole country. They are all becoming “liddle.” They know it. They feel it. They hate it. But they cannot stop it.
There is No Defense -- Only Complicity
posted by y2karl at 9:50 PM on February 10 [9 favorites]


Just the fact of Trump calling for Tuberville taken together with the audio of Giuliani leaving a message for Tuberville on the wrong phone do a lot of work without needing Lee to cooperate.

According to CNN, Giuliani left messages on several wrong phones, including Mike Lee's phone.
The second call to Lee came in at 7 p.m. ET from Giuliani. Lee did not answer the call so it went to voicemail. Lee's office confirmed to CNN that the voicemail was intended for Tuberville and the message left from Giuliani was very similar to one that another unnamed GOP senator received. The transcript of that call was published by the conservative outlet The Dispatch as well as the news blog emptywheel.
What Sen. Mike Lee told me about Trump’s call the day of the Capitol riot
I said, “Mr. President, this is Mike Lee.”

“No,” he insisted, “I dialed Tommy’s number.”

“Mr. President, are you calling for Tommy Tuberville (my new colleague from Alabama)?”

“Yes.”

Anxious to hand the phone to someone else (and not have to argue with the president about matters at hand), I asked if he’d like me to find Senator Tuberville.

He said, “Yeah sure, that’d be great.”

I went and found Senator Tuberville, handed him my phone, and explained that the president would like to speak to him. I stood nearby for the next five or ten minutes as they spoke, not wanting to lose my phone in the middle of a crisis.

Then the Capitol Police became very nervous and ordered us to evacuate the chamber immediately. As they were forcing everyone out of the chamber, I awkwardly found myself interrupting the same telephone conversation I had just facilitated.

“Excuse me, Tommy, we have to evacuate. Can I have my phone?”

Senator Tuberville promptly ended the call and returned my phone to its rightful owner.
posted by kirkaracha at 10:03 PM on February 10 [11 favorites]


I say this because I spent several confused seconds wondering why members of Congress were telling each other to "take your pants off".

If you're going out, might as well go happy.
posted by kirkaracha at 10:03 PM on February 10 [3 favorites]


RonButNotStupid > Has there been any other references to the movements of insurrectionists within the Capitol?

They Stormed the Capitol. Their Apps Tracked Them. — Times Opinion was able to identify individuals from a trove of leaked smartphone location data., New York Times, Charlie Warzel & Stuart A. Thompson (Mr. Warzel and Mr. Thompson are writers in Opinion. They previously reported on smartphone tracking for the series “One Nation, Tracked.”), Feb. 5, 2021:
...A source has provided another [smartphone] data set, this time following the smartphones of thousands of Trump supporters, rioters and passers-by in Washington, D.C., on January 6, as Donald Trump’s political rally turned into a violent insurrection. At least five people died because of the riot at the Capitol. Key to bringing the mob to justice has been the event’s digital detritus: location data, geotagged photos, facial recognition, surveillance cameras and crowdsourcing.

From Trump’s Rally to Congress — This time-lapse animation shows smartphones as they moved from Donald Trump’s rally to the Capitol [view inline animation in the article].
...
The data we were given showed what some in the tech industry might call a God-view vantage of that dark day. It included about 100,000 location pings for thousands of smartphones, revealing around 130 devices inside the Capitol exactly when Trump supporters were storming the building. Times Opinion is only publishing the names of people who gave their permission to be quoted in this article...
Additional details and phone tracking examples in the article. Some of this data may have been used for the Capitol computer models shown by impeachment managers on Wednesday.

There may have been aerial electronic surveillance over Washington, DC on January 6th (as described in The Ultimate Guide To Surveillance Aircraft Available To Help Safeguard The Inauguration, The War Zone, January 19, 2021).
posted by cenoxo at 10:15 PM on February 10


My sense is that a dangerously large minority of Americans are just going to keep on looking at anything but tl;dr C-SPAN, as well as doing whatever else it takes to avoid having to admit to themselves that they've been scammed by Fox, scammed by Turnip, and scammed by every other miserable Republican fuck they keep on voting in.

My (half) sister, who became a Pentecostal evangelical Christian after moving to the South and was ride or die for Trump and thought Biden was going to lock up the Christians (I still can’t square this since my sister was raised Catholic and her late mother was and her stepfather and our brother still are solidly Quebecois Catholic) made a FB post on 1/6 saying “I voted for Trump. But enough is enough. Time to move on.”

That single post got me through the night. For four years, I watched her go all in on Trump. She prayed for him daily. But since that day, she’s made I think two posts about politics, not multiple posts daily, and, she just, like, seems so much happier? More pictures of her dogs and grandkids.

IDK, she was in deep, and now she’s quietly stepped back. She’s one woman, but she gives me hope. She’s one woman, but she’s also part of a church fellowship. I know her enough to say that there’s one less Southern Church fellowship preaching the Gospel of Trump. That’s one less Southern Church in a larger assembly of Churches. That’s one less assembly in a larger sect of Pentecostal Christianity. And so it goes. And so it goes.
posted by Ruki at 10:23 PM on February 10 [39 favorites]


We can't and aren't going to ever placate these people.

Probably not placate, but they can be made to crawl into their holes and mutter quietly under their breath while the rest of the country moves the fuck on. It would require not allowing completely fabulist hate speech and barely (if at all) veiled threats of violence to be broadcast constantly over our airwaves and fiber optic cables, though. Twenty seven years ago, such speech sparked a genocide that killed hundreds of thousands, but we did not learn. To my eternal shame, I was long included in that particular we.

Unfortunately, the first amendment has become so broad in recent years that only in the most extreme situations can anything be done, so here we sit, with our Constitution having been slowly turned into a suicide pact. Don't get me wrong, I'm frankly terrified by government having the power to restrict very much speech at all, but I've also come to realize that we aren't going to have one for much longer if we keep going the way we are and that also terrifies me. Given our current situation, anything that follows such an upheaval can only be worse.
posted by wierdo at 10:37 PM on February 10 [4 favorites]


It's been a long long day. We are all of course weary and need rest and comfort. Let me share what a youth told me, observing the testimony. 'It looks like a TIE fighter'. We adults pursue meaning in this this cryptic statement. 'The map. That building.'

The 3d orthogonal projection of the Capitol building looks like a TIE fighter, and I can't unsee it.
posted by adept256 at 10:56 PM on February 10 [7 favorites]


I'm also interested in Rep. Swalwell's mention of the Oathkeepers getting directions on their phones, after they'd breached the Capitol, to find sheltering politicians.

Also interested in all the reaching out to Sen. Tuberville on Jan. 6 -- he's a new guy, sworn in on the third. Giuliani's voicemail begins, "Senator Tuberville? Or I should say Coach Tuberville..." Thomas Hawley Tuberville is a 66 year-old ex-college football coach, how is he a made guy already? Did his financial shenanigans include party fundraising and/or cash cleaning? (And how common is the name "Hawley" in Arkansas?) Giuliani's message, at 7.pm., doesn't mention the siege that afternoon; he just wants Tommy T. to keep delaying the count when they re-convene at 8. And, incredibly: "I know McConnell is doing everything he can to rush it, which is kind of a kick in the head because it's one thing to oppose us, it's another thing not to give us a fair opportunity to contest it." It's like a number of Republican politicians never thought they themselves were in danger that day.

Actual Fox News headline: Eric Swalwell, Dem congressman linked to Chinese spy, makes impeachment case against Trump at Senate trial, if anyone thought they were letting that die. Axios, Dec. 8, 2020: A statement from Swalwell's office provided to Axios said: "Rep. Swalwell, long ago, provided information about this person [Fang Fang aka Christine Fang] — whom he met more than eight years ago, and whom he hasn’t seen in nearly six years — to the FBI. To protect information that might be classified, he will not participate in your story." Also, I'd forgotten that Swalwell was a presidential candidate in 2019: Swalwell, 40, has served in the House for seven years, representing a heavily Democratic district, as one of its younger members. Last year he ran for president. He dropped out a few months into the race after he didn’t gain enough traction for his bid. Since 2015, he’s been on the House Intelligence Committee, which is privy to some of the nation’s top secrets. -- WaPo, Dec. 11, 2020, w/NPR assist)
posted by Iris Gambol at 11:48 PM on February 10 [12 favorites]


‘There’s Nothing Left’: Why Thousands of Republicans Are Leaving the Party
In Arizona, 10,174 Republicans have changed their party registration since the attack as the state party has shifted ever further to the right, as reflected by its decision to censure three Republicans — Gov. Doug Ducey, former Senator Jeff Flake and Cindy McCain — for various acts deemed disloyal to Mr. Trump. The party continues to raise questions about the 2020 election, and last week Republicans in the State Legislature backed arresting elections officials from Maricopa County for refusing to comply with wide-ranging subpoenas for election equipment and materials.
It is those actions, some Republican strategists in Arizona argue, that prompted the drop in G.O.P. voter registrations in the state.

“The exodus that’s happening right now, based on my instincts and all the people who are calling me out here, is that they’re leaving as a result of the acts of sedition that took place and the continued questioning of the Arizona vote,” said Chuck Coughlin, a Republican strategist in Arizona.

For Heidi Ushinski, 41, the decision to leave the Arizona Republican Party was easy. After the election, she said, she registered as a Democrat because “the Arizona G.O.P. has just lost its mind” and wouldn’t “let go of this fraudulent election stuff.”
I woke up this morning, and couldn't see anything for an hour because of swollen eyes. Then I realized I forgot to take my allergy medicine last night because I was so caught up with the proceedings. This is relevant because while I was lying there, unable to do anything, I realized that if the Republican senators end up voting against Trump's conviction, Democrats are free to demonstrate their complicity. Not just in attack ads up to the 22 and 24 elections, but at potential congressional hearings and in criminal indictments. The impeachment managers are making it very clear, actually, that this is the one moment in time where Republicans can rinse themselves of Trumpism. After this, they are fair game.
Right now, the obnoxious Hawley and Cruz are let go. They are greater fools than I imagined if they think that will last.

Probably the reason I was thinking about this was the weird agitation of Mike Lee yesterday. Because of the phone calls on Jan 6th from Trump and Giuliani, Tuberville is the one R Senator hanging out to dry right now. When I saw Mike Lee shout yesterday, I was confused, because I don't imagine a Utah senator is very threatened by the trumpists in his home state (I may be wrong here, have never been to Utah). But now I think maybe he doesn't want to be associated with Tuberville, and Trump, on the record. Lee is a coward and probably a vile human being. But perhaps he has an inch more of foresight than some of his worst colleagues.

That said, the way Hawley is acting during this is exactly like one of my colleagues who has a huge sexual harassment accusation coming, which has not been made public yet. He seems arrogant and boorish to everyone we meet with in our professional roles, to the degree that people call me after meetings. I can't tell them it is because he is scared to death that he will lose everything.
posted by mumimor at 2:16 AM on February 11 [37 favorites]


Wow. Looking at the footage from yesterday, it's clear that history will record that Trump incited an insurrection against the USA which caused multiple deaths. The defence team isn't disputing what happened, and the prosecution is showing an angry mob (a) listening to 45 (b) repeating his words and (c) attacking the capitol after (d) being told to go down to the capitol and being told to fight.

I guess the real question will be, how does the US respond to the acquittal?

Maybe just a statement from the Biden admin that they are looking at what actions they wish to take during Biden's presidential impunity period, and there will be a subcommittee to select targets?
posted by Wrinkled Stumpskin at 4:15 AM on February 11 [6 favorites]


Actual Fox News headline: Eric Swalwell, Dem congressman linked to Chinese spy, makes impeachment case against Trump at Senate trial, if anyone thought they were letting that die.
Innuendo Studios has this video about never playing defense where Ian talks about putting people into boxes to avoid having to listen to someone's argument and stand fast against changing ones mind.
posted by Your Childhood Pet Rock at 4:34 AM on February 11 [11 favorites]


I suspect that Frum has for some time been feeling that same shared guilt for his own complicity in the bloodstained neocon adventures in the Middle East. That's the best explanation I can come up with for the fact that much of his recent writing has contained at least nods in the direction of consensus reality, as opposed to the endless reams of lying partisan chaff he could so consistently be relied upon to churn out while W was in office.

I'm not sure of this. I think it more likely he is acting out of self-preservation much like the Lincoln Project gang. There is no need for highly paid educated political consultants in Trump's version of the GOP. They can be replaced by semi-illiterate tweet writers and unrepentant copypasta plagiarists. For him to continue earning his living he needs a home on the right and right now there isn't really one for him or the others. They've been squeezed out by the Trump mob.
posted by srboisvert at 5:23 AM on February 11 [12 favorites]


I’m really hoping that today’s hearing goes deeper into what Trump said, and what his mob said and did directly because of it. A couple of days ago, one of the managers showed video of one of the insurrectionists calling out against “Crazy Nancy,” and casually pointed out that that was Trump’s name for her. They should show a collage of his tweets calling her that. When we see that crowd talking about “Traitor Pence,” show the time stamp in relation to when Trump tweeted that Pence didn’t have the courage” to uphold the Constitution.

And then more of the video and online posts and tweets and sworn statements from the rioters who outright said that Trump sent them.

Close up any dots in the line connecting Trump himself to what the people did in his name and on his behalf, so no Republican is asked to do any dot-connecting themselves and wiggle through them as if the mob just acted in that vacuum.
posted by Mchelly at 5:33 AM on February 11 [7 favorites]


There is no need for highly paid educated political consultants in Trump's version of the GOP.

Thanks, that makes sense too. Also has the advantage of not requiring me to extend Frum the courtesy of assuming even for a second that he might at last be operating in good faith.

My visceral reaction to seeing his byline remains plenty strong enough to stop me running up and kicking at any conceivable football he might ever choose to hold, but it's nice to be able to put my finger on exactly why.

Weasel me once, shame on, shame on you. Weasel me, you can’t get weaselled again.
posted by flabdablet at 5:39 AM on February 11 [7 favorites]


cenoxo: Additional details and phone tracking examples in the article. Some of this data may have been used for the Capitol computer models shown by impeachment managers on Wednesday.

Sorry, I meant to say any additional references from the impeachment managers. Swalwell's aside about the orthogonal model's deliberate lack of detail for security reasons and the mob's attempts to find the then-current location of various individuals during the siege made it seem like he was about to address the Boebert Tweet and the allegations that there had been tours given in the days leading up to the riot.
posted by RonButNotStupid at 6:00 AM on February 11 [1 favorite]


I realized that if the Republican senators end up voting against Trump's conviction, Democrats are free to demonstrate their complicity. Not just in attack ads up to the 22 and 24 elections, but at potential congressional hearings and in criminal indictments. The impeachment managers are making it very clear, actually, that this is the one moment in time where Republicans can rinse themselves of Trumpism. After this, they are fair game.

mumimor - this is really insightful. Maddow had on a commentator last night who made this exact point, that the Republicans are getting worried about the Dems going after other people.
posted by bluesky43 at 6:14 AM on February 11 [24 favorites]


Has there been any other references to the unusually informed movements of insurrectionists within the Capitol? Eric Swalwell alluded to outside coordination when he remarked about the model with the red, blue, and yellow dots being purposefully degraded for security reasons, and I thought he was going to follow up on it, but maybe they're saving that for later?
posted by RonButNotStupid at 5:51 PM


I think mumimor has it right - the House Managers are dropping small hints of things they could but aren't covering, potentially giving the GOP senators room to do the right thing. I noticed this too and wondered.
posted by bluesky43 at 6:23 AM on February 11 [5 favorites]


Close up any dots in the line connecting Trump himself to what the people did in his name and on his behalf, so no Republican is asked to do any dot-connecting themselves and wiggle through them as if the mob just acted in that vacuum.

That's pretty much exactly what I already saw them do all day on C-SPAN. Completely relentlessly, blam blam blam, hitting every bullseye dead centre every time. I'm not sure that any more of that is going to shift any votes now. Nobody who is still prepared to acquit Turnip at this point has any room to pretend that they're doing so for other than nakedly self-serving reasons.

But if the aim is to try to peel away diehard Turnip fanbois among the general public by making his malfeasance even more obvious, I think expecting more than a tiny fraction of those folks to pay attention through one day of Senate hearings is already most likely too big an ask. I think this is why Fox cut away. It wasn't so much that Fox wanted yet again to demonstrate the barefaced nature of the "we report, you decide" lie to the rest of us, as that they knew perfectly well that dwelling there any longer would cost them in viewer disengagement.

The Murdoch Death Star has done such an effective job at curdling the brains of Turnip's base over the last two decades that these people's entire cognition now consists of slogans and soundbites carefully crafted to deflect meaningful engagement with political ideas and even with any physical reality that has vaguely political dimensions. All the base can see any more from inside the funhouse mirror world that Fox has drawn them into is satanic Democrats trying to tear down their Dear Leader, and all they feel about that is industrial-grade mass-produced purchase-promoting resentment.

I think it's all sound bites all the time with these people, even inside their own heads. So until the House impeachment managers find ways to induce Hannity, Ingraham, Pirro et al to start selling one at least as potent as "Stop the Steal" without making it known that a Democrat penned it, there are hard limits to the success of the deprogramming task.
posted by flabdablet at 6:27 AM on February 11 [13 favorites]


To recap, the House has used documentary evidence to prove conclusively that 1) Senators nearly got killed, 2) Trump knew the Senators were at risk, and 3) knowing this, Trump decided to tweet that Mike Pence lacked "courage", which was read to the crowd over megaphone, causing them to ramp up the violence and start calling for Mike Pence to be hanged. And soon, Republican senators will vote to acquit Trump, some using a bullshit technicality, others simply saying that Trump is a great guy, but ALL with the true motivation of appeasing a base of supporters who actively despise any democratic process that doesn't provide their personally-desired outcome. People who felt satisfaction when they heard the rioters chant "No Trump, No Peace". The Republican Party of 2021 stands for despotism.
posted by East Manitoba Regional Junior Kabaddi Champion '94 at 6:32 AM on February 11 [15 favorites]


I've learnt that Boebert only received her GED 8 months prior to taking office. She was a teen mom who dropped out to raise her child. All that she's achieved is without an education and she's learnt the exactly the wrong lesson from this. Like so many, she feels entitled to the same opportunities as those that have had the benefit of an education, and yet she's been excluded from those opportunities. Her error is that she feels that the educated, the elites, therefore don't deserve their privileged positions. She's been a good mother, she's done honest work, and they won't let her in their club. Fuck them.

So many people feel this way, because they've had the same life. They love it when they see her punching up, she's swinging for them.

In an ideal world Boebert would have more choices regarding childcare, education, and maybe timely contraception. That those elements weren't available to her, or otherwise discouraged, could have prevented this resentment, and given her the fulfillment she feels deprived of.

Sorry for the derail, when I had found that she only received her high school diploma very recently (let us agree this deserves praise), a big puzzle piece clicked into place for me.
posted by adept256 at 6:33 AM on February 11 [19 favorites]


Tuberville says he informed Trump of Pence’s evacuation before rioters reached Senate

The existence of the phone call had been previously reported, but the detail that Tuberville informed Trump his vice president was in danger is a new and potentially significant development for House prosecutors seeking Trump’s conviction: it occurred just around the time that Trump sent a tweet attacking Pence for not having “the courage” to unilaterally stop Joe Biden’s victory. And Trump never indicated publicly that he was aware of Pence’s plight, even hours after Tuberville says he told him.
posted by bluesky43 at 6:35 AM on February 11 [10 favorites]


Anybody in any doubt about my "funhouse mirror" point above need look no further than Laura Ingraham's 9-Feb rant, and make a genuine effort to model what must have happened inside the head of anybody not immediately inclined to turn that shit off within thirty seconds of exposure.

Sit through the whole seven and a half minutes if you can find the stomach, and then reflect on the consequences of tens of millions of Americans having shown themselves incapable of the minuscule degree of critical thinking that is all it would take to avoid getting sucked in by manipulation as nakedly obvious as that.

Ingraham is not "unhinged". She's really, really skilled at doing the job she's paid to do. Abusers invented DARVO because it works.
posted by flabdablet at 6:49 AM on February 11 [12 favorites]


Just chiming in to say: the Democrats are killing it!
posted by valkane at 6:57 AM on February 11 [1 favorite]


I bet Tuberville thinks he's somehow exonerating the Impeached One, when he's actually implicating him further. Tuberville is 100% that stupid.
posted by mcstayinskool at 7:08 AM on February 11 [4 favorites]


mumimor - this is really insightful. Maddow had on a commentator last night who made this exact point, that the Republicans are getting worried about the Dems going after other people.

This actually makes me curious -- whatever Congress does aside, would the FBI see a politician's vote against convicting as supporting evidence in the criminal cases they're building against co-conspirators?
posted by Mchelly at 7:08 AM on February 11 [3 favorites]


Dozens of former Republican officials in talks to form anti-Trump third party

The early stage discussions include former elected Republicans, former officials in the Republican administrations of Ronald Reagan, George H.W. Bush, George W. Bush and Trump, ex-Republican ambassadors and Republican strategists, the people involved say.
More than 120 of them held a Zoom call last Friday to discuss the breakaway group, which would run on a platform of “principled conservatism,” including adherence to the Constitution and the rule of law - ideas those involved say have been trashed by Trump.
The plan would be to run candidates in some races but also to endorse center-right candidates in others, be they Republicans, independents or Democrats, the people say.
Evan McMullin, who was chief policy director for the House Republican Conference and ran as an independent in the 2016 presidential election, told Reuters that he co-hosted the Zoom call with former officials concerned about Trump’s grip on Republicans and the nativist turn the party has taken.
posted by bluesky43 at 7:09 AM on February 11 [10 favorites]


Lindsay Graham tweeted that the impeachment managers' presentation has been "offensive and absurd," and I just can't wrap my head around that viewpoint. Offensive? .... How? What the hell?
posted by meese at 7:18 AM on February 11 [6 favorites]


Evan McMullin, who was chief policy director for the House Republican Conference and ran as an independent in the 2016 presidential election, told Reuters that he co-hosted the Zoom call with former officials concerned about Trump’s grip on Republicans and the nativist turn the party has taken.

Emphasis mine, because - do these men (and you know they're men) really think that this nativist turn was recent?
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 7:21 AM on February 11 [21 favorites]


Meese - it's projection. Graham has become offensive and absurd in his heel turn (accepting, if you will, he was as "face" as an R could be when he was part of the McCain Gang).

It's also the RVO part of the term DARVO (which I learned about when i was five-minutes-ago years old).
posted by notsnot at 7:23 AM on February 11 [9 favorites]


Capitol rioters searched for Nancy Pelosi in a way that should make every woman’s skin crawl

The mob roamed hallways, searching for her office, and as they did, they called for her. “Oh Nancy,” one man cried out, three syllables ricocheting off the walls. “Oh Naaaaaaancy.”
...
Oh Naaaaaaancy is a very specific scene from a horror movie. Oh Nancy is what the protagonist hears when she is hiding in a parking garage, or in a stairwell, or crouched under her desk, or pressed flat on the ground in a damp cornfield. Her terror is played out for entertainment, whether that means a narrow escape or a bloody death.
...
The “Nancy” part is intentional. Footage shows us that the rioters were also looking for male lawmakers; they were looking for Vice President Mike Pence. They referred to him as “Pence,” not “Mike.” They yelled his name instead of cooing it. They wanted to show they were angry with him. Her? They wanted to show she was their toy.
...
Oh Naaaaaaancy is also self-aware. It knows it sounds like a horror movie. It is the sort of affectation a bad man might pick up after too many viewings of “The Shining.” It is what a man stalking a woman thinks a man stalking a woman should say.
He is performing a role.
He is reciting a line.
He is enacting a scene: The woman is hiding in the parking garage. The woman is hiding in the stairwell. The woman is hiding in her office. The woman is the speaker of the House of Representatives. For this scene, that doesn’t matter.
She’s not a powerful politician right now; she’s Nancy.
posted by bluesky43 at 7:29 AM on February 11 [87 favorites]


Straight out of "A Nightmare on Elm Street".
posted by Optamystic at 7:31 AM on February 11 [2 favorites]


i got a strong "warriors, come out and play-ee-ay" vibe from that.
posted by 20 year lurk at 7:34 AM on February 11 [7 favorites]


Senator Graham is correct that the prosecution’s case is “offensive” to all decent people, not least because it highlights the actions of Senator Graham
posted by East Manitoba Regional Junior Kabaddi Champion '94 at 7:34 AM on February 11 [8 favorites]


The mob roamed hallways, searching for her office, and as they did, they called for her. “Oh Nancy,” one man cried out, three syllables ricocheting off the walls. “Oh Naaaaaaancy.”

Such joy at the possible suffering of others. We live in a psychopath culture.
posted by ishmael at 7:37 AM on February 11 [13 favorites]


Not to derail here, but when I think of Cruz and the Texas GOP, all I think is...it's coming. Texas is the new California. They have worked and worked to get corporations to move to Texas like HP, Oracle, Tesla. Who works for those corporations? Do they vote? Do they have money to take up political causes? All three of these places have highly educated employees from every part of the globe.

You want to turn Texas blue? Let the GOP do it for you! They are bringing loads of voters to the state who largely want: low taxes, gay marriage, immigrant rights, safe schools, reproductive rights, etc. Also, they are younger and the GOP has a problem with anybody under 65.

So, when I see Cruz, I see a man who crosses one train track, after a train passes from the right, not realizing there is a second track. Too late to see the train coming down the second track from the left.
posted by zerobyproxy at 7:38 AM on February 11 [17 favorites]


These people really thought they were going to get close to Mike Pence? The VP?

The USSS doesn't screw around. No one would have gotten close, and anyone who tried would be dead.
posted by jquinby at 7:41 AM on February 11 [2 favorites]


Perhaps it's been said in the news already, but I would love to know how Hawley, Marjorie Greene and Lauren Boebert were acting during the evacuation from the chamber(s). Has anyone come forward to describe if these cretins were calm? Unsurprised? Excited? Or were they running for their lives as well? I think it would be interesting to know what their reaction to the mob descending on them was (not from them personally, but from those around them).
posted by sundrop at 7:41 AM on February 11 [7 favorites]




Jamie Raskin’s Passionate Prosecution Is Convicting Trump in the Eyes of History (The Nation)

The painful truth about our republic as it now stands is that Donald Trump is unlikely to be held to account by this Senate. But Jamie Raskin has assured that history will not favor the former president, or the senators who defend his infamy. It will take time. But there will be a future when Tabitha Raskin returns to the Capitol, when the darkness lifts, and when, surely, our better angels will prevail.

/This article is more hopeful than I feel but it mirrors what I thought yesterday - regardless of the outcome, the presentation put together by Jamie Raskin and the other HM is a historic and historical record of what happened. The GOP Senators who vote against conviction will find their legacies judged against the accounting we heard yesterday.
posted by bluesky43 at 7:42 AM on February 11 [9 favorites]


like HP, Oracle, Tesla. Who works for those corporations?

You mean libertarian gamergate bitcoin douchebros?
posted by valkane at 7:43 AM on February 11 [15 favorites]


So, Salwell did have some intel. Breaking on CNN: Justice Department says an Oath Keepers leader waited for Trump's direction before Capitol attack.
posted by frecklefaerie at 7:42 AM


woah, this is very big.
posted by bluesky43 at 7:43 AM on February 11 [6 favorites]


By all rights, Leahy as presiding officer should have just told Mike Lee to sit down and shut up. The Senate rules for the trial do not permit Senators to speak during the presentations or debate the evidence, except to raise a point of order. Instead, Lee was trying to debate and present rebuttal evidence which is not allowed. Proper procedure would be for Lee to talk to defense counsel and have them present Lee as a rebuttal witness testifying under oath.

The House Managers could have objected and made a big scene of it but I think they wisely decided to just back off as a strategic move because pissing off and embarrassing one of the colleagues of the jury is no way to win converts.

Remember that Mike Lee is the one who said that Trump deserved a mulligan on his muffed insurrection attempt.
posted by JackFlash at 7:43 AM on February 11 [8 favorites]


Also, Eric Salwell is the bomb.
posted by bluesky43 at 7:43 AM on February 11 [1 favorite]


So, when I see Cruz, I see a man who crosses one train track, after a train passes from the right, not realizing there is a second track. Too late to see the train coming down the second track from the left.

The problem is that Cruz is there until 2024. Lots of time for the American public's famous goldfish length retention of events to come into effect.

Hell we were so glad to see the end of Shrub but now that he's offering Michelle Obama candy it's like "awwwww look at the cute widdle warmonger".
posted by Your Childhood Pet Rock at 7:44 AM on February 11 [5 favorites]


Yesterday''s Digest:

Showing representatives running for cover was a masterful stroke. They got to see themselves as others (now) see them. None of them could escape a visceral reaction. All this capsulized the riot's character and went a long way toward defining the event as an insurrection. But the objective is to make a connection between Trump and the insurrectionists.

The cherry on top was the connection made between the organizers of the "demonstration" and the White House's wishes. In the first part, the managers demonstrated that the organizers bent to the President's wishes by changing their event date. This rose beyond coincidence, even if the managers didn't prove that Trump issued the order.

But the managers seemed to have glossed over who changed the permit's terms to allow the "demonstrators" to head toward the Capitol Building. Was the venue altered (by the permit), or was it overridden by Trump during his speech? This is a small but important detail. I'd like to see that brought out more clearly. Otherwise, I think the managers were spot on when they showed glimpses of how Trump groomed his minions over the past few months.

I'm convinced that any fair reading of the evidence so far could not help but connect Trump to the attempted insurrection. Criminal exposure is not insignificant. They seem to include not just sedition but such fun terms as manslaughter (possibly murder) and a host of other lesser charges that, by themselves, would scare the bejeezus out of most people. Let citizen Trump deal with criminal charges. But that's next month. Our legislators should take a stand, try him, and let their Yeas and Nays stand for everyone to see.

That sequence would validate the dog and pony show and give our liberal brothers and sisters substantial moral high ground from which to flick neeners at Trumpees for months and months. If the various attorneys general do their jobs, it will validate our legal system and tie up the Trumporgs for years. Maybe it will bankrupt them or, in another timeline, put some of them in jail.

Okay. Break's over. Back to CSPAN for more abuse.
posted by mule98J at 7:47 AM on February 11 [8 favorites]


The USSS doesn't screw around. No one would have gotten close, and anyone who tried would be dead.

Have you been watching the actual footage or the Steven Seagal adaptation?
posted by East Manitoba Regional Junior Kabaddi Champion '94 at 7:48 AM on February 11 [19 favorites]


Yes, my skin crawled when I heard "Oooooooooooh Nannnnnnnnncyyyyyy!" It struck me as very Funny Games.
posted by all about eevee at 7:51 AM on February 11 [3 favorites]


they are younger and the GOP has a problem with anybody under 65.

The average age of the rioters who stormed the Capitol was 40. Only 16% were Boomers. Don't kid yourself that they're all about to die off.
posted by CheeseDigestsAll at 7:51 AM on February 11 [31 favorites]


I thought the average age was more in the 30s range. Can someone please link the demographic data again? I tried Googling and can't find it.
posted by all about eevee at 7:53 AM on February 11


Have you been watching the actual footage or the Steven Seagal adaptation?

I'm suggesting that while the US Capitol Police seemed unclear on whether or not to use deadly force (yes? no? maybe?), it seems very unlikely that the Secret Service would be operating under the uncertainty.
posted by jquinby at 7:57 AM on February 11 [4 favorites]


The Capitol Rioters Aren’t Like Other Extremists
We analyzed 193 people arrested in connection with the January 6 riot—and found a new kind of American radicalism. (the Atlantic)

68% > 35

/but note this is a relatively small sample of 193 of the seditionists. And the largest percentage were 35-44 (32%)
posted by bluesky43 at 7:58 AM on February 11 [2 favorites]


Crowds terrify me. I think they should terrify most people. None of us can know how the day would've gone down if it had come to the most extreme violence. Would the crowd have splintered instantly in a panic or would they have been propelled forward by those in back and it turns into a melee and gunfight? They certainly seemed primed to do the second. Speculating doesn't really have a point, but the energy and violence on display is enough for me.

edit: I've seen reporting that the capitol police were explicitly ordered to not use deadly force. AP article Jan 11:
"Once the mob began to move on the Capitol, a police lieutenant issued an order not to use deadly force, which explains why officers outside the building did not draw their weapons as the crowd closed in. Officers are sometimes ordered against escalating a situation by drawing their weapons if superiors believe doing so could lead to a stampede or a shootout."
posted by OnTheLastCastle at 8:20 AM on February 11 [5 favorites]


Just hoping that the second full day of the prosecution the house managers have a few real zinngers that might sway both the eleven ethically strongest republican senators and some significant donors in their respective districts.
posted by sammyo at 8:23 AM on February 11 [2 favorites]


I'm convinced that any fair reading of the evidence so far could not help but connect Trump to the attempted insurrection. Criminal exposure is not insignificant. They seem to include not just sedition but such fun terms as manslaughter (possibly murder) and a host of other lesser charges that, by themselves, would scare the bejeezus out of most people. Let citizen Trump deal with criminal charges. But that's next month.

This is something that's really stood out to me, the Republicans love to move the goalposts and act like impeachment needs to fit the standards of a criminal case which it absolutely does not, but the House is putting together one hell of a criminal case here. This thing's going to be served up on a silver platter for the DOJ to continue on with.
posted by jason_steakums at 8:25 AM on February 11 [11 favorites]


Officers are sometimes ordered against escalating a situation by drawing their weapons if superiors believe doing so could lead to a stampede or a shootout.

Counterpoint: When an officer believes their life and safety are at risk, they are trained to use whatever force -- including lethal force -- to remove that risk.

2 rifles at each broken window/door could have stopped the violent Republican rioters from breaching the perimeter of the building and and kept the rioters outside.
posted by mikelieman at 8:26 AM on February 11 [2 favorites]


II'm suggesting that while the US Capitol Police seemed unclear on whether or not to use deadly force (yes? no? maybe?), it seems very unlikely that the Secret Service would be operating under the uncertainty.

I haven't watched every moment of the available video, but it appeared to me from what I have seen and from what I've heard of various accounts is that the USCP did everything they could to avoid using deadly force, but when that woman tried to enter a hallway where MOCs were actually still present, she was shot. I agree that USSS would not have hesitated if insurrectionists got anywhere close to Pence.
posted by Preserver at 8:29 AM on February 11 [4 favorites]


Adept256, that's an interesting fact/observation about Boebert. At the risk of a big derail, I have noticed that part of what's happening with the resentment against the educated elite is this almost cargo-cult level attempt to level the playing field by adopting some of the forms and practices of the educated elite, with no idea whatsoever about what it really means to have genuine expertise. Like Q or anti-vax "do your research". I recently saw a meme contrasting a pic of scientific research, with a worker in a lab with gear all around, vs. a pic of anti-vax research, which had a woman sitting on a toilet looking at her phone. Or Liberty University, which has a bunch of the trappings of a university but is unaccredited and has no tenure, because it's anything but an intellectual community. Or, linking back to Trump/impeachment, a whole lot of the lawsuits that were filed by Trump supporters after the election that were so completely amateurish and disconnected from reality that the judges were irked to have to make the effort to swat them away.

It comes across like thinking, if they claim the right titles and do the right incantations they should have as much clout as people who actually know what they're doing and got those things through experience and actual expertise.
posted by Sublimity at 8:34 AM on February 11 [31 favorites]


Getting back to the topic at hand: I sure am hoping that the impeachment presentations today dig into why there was not better security from the get-go on the 6th.

All the discussion of the Capitol Police and what they did or didn't do, could or couldn't do--they never should have been in that situation from the very start. The presentation yesterday was extremely clear that the possibility for violence was public and well known and the failure to prepare for that could not have been accidental.
posted by Sublimity at 8:37 AM on February 11 [9 favorites]


I'm suggesting that while the US Capitol Police seemed unclear on whether or not to use deadly force (yes? no? maybe?), it seems very unlikely that the Secret Service would be operating under the uncertainty.

I concur. While it can be said Capitol Police wouldn't have been able to protect many members of Congress from the worst (how could they with individuals barricaded in rooms under siege), I have little doubt that the amount of protection for the VP means things would had to have gotten, erm, VERY hairy before he was in serious jeopardy.

This is a small point that should be ignored by anyone making the case; let's continue to insinuate Pence's life was 100% in danger, there clearly was a threat. But SS likely prioritized and treated like the VIP he unfortunately was (1st in succession), and barring a major gunfight/dozens of casualties they weren't going to let anyone get near Pence.

(And I'm sorry if this is a derail when more important things are happening, but weirdly enough this gives me some cold comfort. The man is despicable and doesn't deserve pity for what happened to him that day, he was entirely culpable in the result. But I have to, I just HAVE to believe that despite all the chaos, every mechanism was in place to protect him, and only after every SS member had sacrificed themselves to save him would there be any risk. Without every member of the MAGA army packing something heavier than a handgun, this was not going to happen. To think otherwise and how close we were to an actual coup....I just can't.)
posted by andruwjones26 at 8:39 AM on February 11 [2 favorites]


Pardons don’t come cheap.

A Million-Dollar Pardon Offer at the Trump Hotel — Corey Lewandowski [WP bio] allegedly wanted a hefty fee in exchange for helping a government whistleblower win a pardon from the former president., The Atlantic, Peter Stone, February 10, 2021.
posted by cenoxo at 8:41 AM on February 11 [3 favorites]


Liberty University, which has a bunch of the trappings of a university but is unaccredited

I loathe Liberty University, but I believe this to be a false statement. I have found no evidence that it's unaccredited. Citation please.
posted by mcstayinskool at 8:45 AM on February 11 [4 favorites]


From the CNN article linked by frecklefairie above
The Justice Department filing continued: "Her concern about taking action without his backing was evident in a November 9, 2020, text in which she stated, 'I am concerned this is an elaborate trap. Unless the POTUS himself activates us, it's not legit. The POTUS has the right to activate units too. If Trump asks me to come, I will. Otherwise, I can't trust it.' Watkins had perceived her desired signal by the end of December."
posted by mumimor at 8:48 AM on February 11 [4 favorites]


It comes across like thinking, if they claim the right titles and do the right incantations they should have as much clout as people who actually know what they're doing and got those things through experience and actual expertise.

See also: Every sovereign citizen to ever walked into courtroom to appear pro per.
posted by mikelieman at 8:49 AM on February 11 [4 favorites]


mcstayinskool, I double checked and you're right--thank you for the correction. It looks like there have been bumps in the road in its accreditation in the past (including recently after Falwell's self-immolation) which must have been what was stuck in my head--but they are accredited.

Its school of law is the only part that grants tenure. The rest of the faculty are on yearly contracts that can be revoked at any time.
posted by Sublimity at 8:56 AM on February 11 [3 favorites]


Evan McMullin, who was chief policy director for the House Republican Conference and ran as an independent in the 2016 presidential election, told Reuters that he co-hosted the Zoom call with former officials concerned about Trump’s grip on Republicans and the nativist turn the party has taken.

On closer examination, McMullin is as much of an extremist ideologue and hardcore social conservative as the rest. He's just upset Trump beat him to the punch.
posted by They sucked his brains out! at 8:58 AM on February 11


FYI, Day 2 of the prosecution begins now.
posted by bluesky43 at 9:01 AM on February 11


Impeachment Managers To Focus On Insurrection Damage In Day 3 Of Trial, NPR, Claudia Grisales, February 11, 2021:
House impeachment managers will focus on the harm and damage left behind by the insurrection in the second day of their presentations for the Senate impeachment trial, senior aides to the team said ahead of the proceedings.

The aides said they will also focus on what they say is former President Donald Trump's lack of remorse in the wake of the Jan. 6 attack on the Capitol in this final day of opening statements.

The managers will also share more evidence of Trump's role in the attack, revisiting the timeline and the danger those at the Capitol faced, including former Vice President Mike Pence, the aides said.

"We're now moving to the part of the trial where we will provide some additional evidence of President Trump's role and the impact his role played on the attack and siege that followed," a senior aide told reporters in call Thursday. "We'll then move into the harm section, spend some time with some of our managers talking about the various harms caused beyond the obvious physical harms."...
posted by cenoxo at 9:12 AM on February 11 [5 favorites]


Liberty University, which has a bunch of the trappings of a university but is unaccredited

I loathe Liberty University, but I believe this to be a false statement. I have found no evidence that it's unaccredited. Citation please.


I attended that shit show. It's definitely accredited.
posted by Optamystic at 9:13 AM on February 11 [9 favorites]


Tuberville comments help fuel House case against Trump
Sen. Tommy Tuberville revealed late Wednesday that he spoke to then-President Donald Trump on Jan. 6, just as a violent mob closed in on the Senate, and informed Trump that then-Vice President Mike Pence had just been evacuated from the chamber.

“I said ‘Mr. President, they just took the vice president out, I’ve got to go,'” the Alabama Republican told POLITICO on Capitol Hill, saying he cut the phone call short amid the chaos...

“It squares with what we already know, that the president knew his vice president was in danger and did nothing,” said one of the aides, adding, “We will have more to speak on that point today.”

It’s long been unclear precisely when Trump learned of the danger that Congress and his vice president faced — though it was broadcast all over live television — but Tuberville’s claim would mark a specific moment Trump was notified that Pence had to be evacuated for his own safety.
posted by They sucked his brains out! at 9:16 AM on February 11 [5 favorites]


muminor quotes There’s Nothing Left’: Why Thousands of Republicans Are Leaving the Party: "In Arizona, 10,174 Republicans have changed their party registration since the attack as the state party has shifted ever further to the right" -

From yesterday's Letters from an American (the ever excellent historian Heather Cox Richardson - apparently referencing that same NY Times article):
In the 25 states that have accessible data, nearly 140,000 Republicans have left the party since January 6
A story I read about this phenomenon a week or two ago noted that this is unusual: people usually only change parties (re-register) shortly before an election.
posted by kristi at 9:21 AM on February 11 [8 favorites]


I'm thinking of registering as a Republican right now so in two years they'll have no choice but to let me run in the primaries.
posted by ocschwar at 9:22 AM on February 11 [14 favorites]


Oh Naaaaaaancy is a very specific scene from a horror movie. Oh Nancy is what the protagonist hears when she is hiding in a parking garage, or in a stairwell, or crouched under her desk, or pressed flat on the ground in a damp cornfield. Her terror is played out for entertainment, whether that means a narrow escape or a bloody death.

I noted in a previous insurrection thread, echoing a point I read elsewhere in regards to the plot to kidnap Michigan governor Gretchen Whitmer, that it's impossible to rule out that any violence enacted against these women would involve rape. The "Oh Naaaannncyyy" makes me certain it would have. Horrifying, and knowing these creeps will spend a good while behind bars isn't much comfort.
posted by Gelatin at 9:24 AM on February 11 [4 favorites]


Diana DeGette is doing awesome!! Her talking style is very clear, powerful and blunt. She's showing the countless evidence of 45 supporters before, during and after the attack genuinely believing they were doing it on POTUS direct orders.

Most of the stuff she's showing has been posted here previously, but I wonder how much of the Senate has actually seen it. This trial is tying together a lot of things and just makes the previously known stuff look that much worse.
posted by andruwjones26 at 9:29 AM on February 11 [3 favorites]


“It squares with what we already know, that the president knew his vice president was in danger and did nothing,” said one of the aides, adding, “We will have more to speak on that point today.” ... but Tuberville’s claim would mark a specific moment Trump was notified that Pence had to be evacuated for his own safety.

Even more damning, it was exactly 9 minutes after Trump was informed about Pence's peril that Trump sent the following tweet: "Mike Pence didn't have the courage to do what should have been done to protect our Country and our Constitution."

And immediately after that, rioters in the Capital, receiving the tweet, began chanting "Hang Mike Pence."

Trump was directly coordinating with the insurrectionists in real time to ramp up the violence.
posted by JackFlash at 9:29 AM on February 11 [16 favorites]


Jesus Christ. The hanging silence at the end of the recording: "We were invited here by the president of the United States!"

And the room is silent for... what felt like a very long time.

Jesus Christ.
posted by rp at 9:32 AM on February 11 [21 favorites]


pause there was due to some technical issue on house managers' side. raskin stood silently at the podium while it was being resolved.
posted by 20 year lurk at 9:34 AM on February 11


When they acquit him they are going to look like total fools.
posted by all about eevee at 9:34 AM on February 11 [5 favorites]


Fools, and traitors.
posted by They sucked his brains out! at 9:36 AM on February 11 [16 favorites]


I fear this part of the presentation is a strategic mistake. Showing lots of earlier violence makes it even easier for the Republicans to say "this was premeditated and/or independent, not instigated by Trump."
posted by PhineasGage at 9:38 AM on February 11


Procedural question: when both sides have wrapped up their arguments, is the vote held immediately, or is it like a jury trial in which the jurors (in this case, the senators) are able to discuss and debate among themselves before passing a verdict?
posted by Faint of Butt at 9:41 AM on February 11


Honestly their acquittal votes should be the reason for yoinking the filibuster. If the minority party isn't even concerned with the physical safety and continued existence of the Senate they shouldn't get an outsized say in its business.

I fear this part of the presentation is a strategic mistake. Showing lots of earlier violence makes it even easier for the Republicans to say "this was premeditated and/or independent, not instigated by Trump."

I think the context of the rally moving dates and including the Capitol march after the Trump team got involved, and the Pence tweet timeline, makes it really effective, it shows that this crowd was a known loaded gun and he aimed it.
posted by jason_steakums at 9:41 AM on February 11 [18 favorites]


it demonstrates his knowledge of his acolytes' capacity for violence, experience directing it, and his delight in it.
posted by 20 year lurk at 9:41 AM on February 11 [10 favorites]


The Trump Inheritance
“Real Americans, right here. Americans!” screamed the Capitol rioters. “Every corrupt member of Congress locked in one room and surrounded by real Americans.” This is a phrase that Trump began to pick up in 2014 as he started to retweet fans urging him to run for president: “Mr. Trump is a real American patriot”; “a president who has proof he is a real American”; “We need you to run for POTUS. we need a REAL American, one with the same values that built this country. GO TRUMP 2016”; “We need a real American to run our country.” Helpfully, Trump’s handle on Twitter was @realDonaldTrump. But the order of influence is important here. Trump is not telling his market that they are the real people; they are telling him that he is the one who can embody and validate their already well-formed self-identification as the genuine American article...

The concern is not, at heart, that there are bogus votes, but that there are bogus voters, that much of the US is inhabited by people who are, politically speaking, counterfeit citizens. Unlike us, they do not belong; they cannot be among the “we” who get to choose the king.

Trump, as so often in his career, didn’t build this attitude—he branded it. He put his name on it. What this did for his people was to allow them to recognize themselves not as citizens, or even as partisans, but as a crowd.
posted by They sucked his brains out! at 9:42 AM on February 11 [16 favorites]


it demonstrates his knowledge of his acolytes' capacity for violence, experience directing it, and his delight in it.
posted by 20 year lurk at 9:41 AM on February 1


Agreed. It's also important for the historical record.
posted by bluesky43 at 9:47 AM on February 11 [1 favorite]


It is just killing me that complicit Republicans are being offered a way out after both overseeing the destruction of life as we knew it by allowing a pandemic to spin out of control in both America and world wide (and make no mistake any other American administration would have tried to stop it before it even really got started and definitely would have tried to protect the country) and instigating, funding and facilitating an insurrection.

But the real capper is that they seem not inclined to accept the offered 'out'. This is simply amazing in the worst possible way.
posted by srboisvert at 9:48 AM on February 11 [13 favorites]


Do we have a rule, like Occam's or Godwin's or whatever, in which the Republicans will pick the absolute worst possible choice they can possibly make at all times?
posted by jenfullmoon at 9:52 AM on February 11 [3 favorites]




Not a way out per se because choosing it may very well cause seal their political doom with their current base, but the Dems are offering a high profile chance to choose the right thing even if it's politically hard - basically to write off the same voters the Dems did by passing Civil Rights legislation. And it would probably allow the GOP to rebuild as a more centrist party and be the safest ticket to remaining competitive, and it's the smart long term play, but much like corporate America the GOP is looking at maximizing returns this quarter no matter what that means for the future.
posted by jason_steakums at 9:56 AM on February 11 [18 favorites]


Lieu's including the quote from Lee is not an accident (just now he used "a mulligan")
posted by bluesky43 at 10:03 AM on February 11 [10 favorites]


This material now has nothing to do with the core charge of "incitement." I think the House managers have given up on persuading enough Republican senators to convict and now they are fully committed just to shaping the history books.
posted by PhineasGage at 10:03 AM on February 11 [5 favorites]


Counterpoint: When an officer believes their life and safety are at risk, they are trained to use whatever force -- including lethal force -- to remove that risk.

2 rifles at each broken window/door could have stopped the violent Republican rioters from breaching the perimeter of the building and and kept the rioters outside.
Because Waco and Ruby Ridge. Since then federal authorities have always been fucking terrified of overdoing it when it comes to white people.

That being said, I honestly think if there was armed combat between the insurrectionists and the capital police that cost more lives it wouldn't nearly be as quiet as it is now.
posted by Your Childhood Pet Rock at 10:04 AM on February 11 [8 favorites]


The prosecution has made a clear case that Trump is a stochastic terrorist, using vague language to spur violence without consequences. They showed what the rioters did. They showed that rioters felt compelled to act at Trump's behest. But I suspect their mistake, if any (the day isn't over), will be to focus on Trump's lack of remorse, to the exclusion of clearly documenting Trump's own side of the timeline on January 6. Perhaps a clearer causal line needs to be draw between timepoints of the riot and Trump's actions — and deliberate inaction — before, during, and after that event.

Republicans will not be swayed by their colleague's lack of remorse, having none for their own roles in the insurrection and what lead up to it. But it is important for the historical record and for the country, that Trump's actions make an acquittal come with the greatest reputational costs to those who choose to acquit.
posted by They sucked his brains out! at 10:06 AM on February 11 [9 favorites]


I think they are establishing a pattern and showing how he has incited his supporters to do violent things before.
posted by all about eevee at 10:07 AM on February 11 [7 favorites]


The USSS doesn't screw around. No one would have gotten close, and anyone who tried would be dead.

The USSS does screw around and screw up on the regular. The only reason we haven't heard about it for the last 4 years is because the Trump admin was so fucked up it probably got buried in the flood of garbage. During the Obama years they let unverified people into close proximity with him on many occasions. Once even letting an armed man into an elevator with him. There were several intruders into the white house who were not harmed. A gunman fired on the white house and the SS didn't notice until the bullet holes were spotted days later. Several agents were caught whoring and boozing on advance scouting trips for overseas presidential visits. In recent times the only use of force by Secret Service agents that I can recall was shooting dead a black woman in a car after an accident at a white house checkpoint and an off duty agent who shot a dog.

Pop media portrays them as elite in TV shows and movies but if there one thing that reality teaches is that 'elite' soldiers and police are often just as crappy as regular people.
posted by srboisvert at 10:09 AM on February 11 [38 favorites]


not a fan of ceremonial deism, or the specifically xtian flavor of it present in the chamber, but it is worth noting that the chaplain opened today's proceeding -- after several days of fairly anodyne fare -- with a call for those present to be able to heed the quiet whispering voice of conscience with discernment.
posted by 20 year lurk at 10:10 AM on February 11 [22 favorites]


But the real capper is that they seem not inclined to accept the offered 'out'. This is simply amazing in the worst possible way.

I've worked with some very smart people, but I've also worked with some very thick people. People who are old enough to know better. People who sometimes want to do something that is completely legal, and good for their co-workers, but maybe frowned on a little bit by management, and I say this as management.

So sometimes you'll get this situation where nobody has asked to do the thing that I'd have to frown upon. And I know that if they just do the thing, I'll be okay with it, but if they ask me, I am going to have to tow the company line and say no. And so you're saying, "well if someone did that thing, and I wasn't asked about it, I guess that would be that." And I'm trying so hard to let them understand that as soon as we start openly talking about this thing, I'll have no choice but to say no, but if they don't explicitly talk to me about it, then they're all good, but I can't explicitly tell them that, because then we'd be talking about the thing.

And most people get it. They get that wise look in their eyes and clam up and that's that. But every so often, you get that person who just. doesn't. get it. And they ask me. And I say no. And then they get mad, often at me, because they're too thick to understand that they had an out but didn't realize it.

I feel like the House managers are giving the republican senators an out right now. And I fear that those senators are too thick to realize it.
posted by nushustu at 10:11 AM on February 11 [31 favorites]


> ...[Frum] is acting out of self-preservation much like the Lincoln Project gang. There is no need for highly paid educated political consultants in Trump's version of the GOP. They can be replaced by semi-illiterate tweet writers and unrepentant copypasta plagiarists. For him to continue earning his living he needs a home on the right and right now there isn't really one for him or the others. They've been squeezed out by the Trump mob.

Just like the jobs of American factory workers have moved to China and the jobs of American technical professionals have moved to India, the jobs of American political pundits have moved to Russia. How's that globalization feeling now?
posted by at by at 10:17 AM on February 11 [4 favorites]


Ted Lieu (paraphrasing): I’m not afraid of Trump running again in four years. I’m afraid of what will happen when he loses.
posted by TWinbrook8 at 10:18 AM on February 11 [14 favorites]


Jesus we're so lucky that Trump is such a weak minded shitstain that he didn't force more violence through these people.

It wouldn't have torn the union apart but there would have been a lot of death.
posted by Your Childhood Pet Rock at 10:28 AM on February 11


Dahlia Lithwick at Slate sums up what I'm feeling, too:

"The Particular, Horrific Pain of This Impeachment Trial:
The facts of the case are nearly impossible to take in,
but worse is the knowledge that nothing will be done."
This is part of what is so particularly horrifying about the exercise of watching this trial: It is painful to actually watch what so recently happened—it is scary, the people in the videos are either scary or scared—and it is especially painful to watch this knowing the GOP will dismiss it as awful, yet not sufficiently important to warrant consequences.
posted by PhineasGage at 10:32 AM on February 11 [28 favorites]


The most frustrating part for me is knowing that the Republicans who are supposed to judge this would have simply gone along with Trump taking over if he was successful, including Mr. "Most important vote of my career" McConnell. Many of them would have preferred it. And there is no realistic mechanism to keep them off the jury.
posted by jason_steakums at 10:49 AM on February 11 [19 favorites]


> Not to derail here, but when I think of Cruz and the Texas GOP, all I think is...it's coming. Texas is the new California. They have worked and worked to get corporations to move to Texas like HP, Oracle, Tesla. [...] You want to turn Texas blue? Let the GOP do it for you! They are bringing loads of voters to the state who largely want: low taxes, gay marriage, immigrant rights, safe schools, reproductive rights, etc.

In North Carolina, there's Research Triangle Park. It was established in 1959. It was one of the first tax-exempted corporate park developments in the country. IBM, Nortel, GE and similar companies all set up major sites there, employing tens of thousands of people, bringing billions of dollars of new wealth which of course attracted more businesses and so on. GE ain't so much now and Nortel has passed on, but Lenovo, Cisco, and dozens of biotech companies have moved in. Later, Charlotte followed suit and became one of the major financial (particularly fin-tech) centers of the US, bringing yet more tens of thousands of educated professionals and additional billions of dollars.

The net result has been two intense blue blotches in a state political map that's mostly reddish-purple. Politicians that don't rely on district-based voting can be very successful as Democrats, but the state is gerrymandered to hell and back, ensuring that the state legislature, as well as the legislators sent to DC, are overwhelmingly Republican. It turns out that the tech industry can be very good to a state's coffers but the economic boon remains highly localized, and in fact serves to radicalize people in rural counties who resent the lack of improvement this has apparently brought to their own lives.

As Texas plans to draw its districts this summer, don't think for a second that their Republicans won't be drawing plans without population projections that take tech industry growth into account. If all of Texas' new tech growth is isolated in Austin, Republicans may not even have to do that, since presumably Austin's interests are already underrepresented in state legislature by previous Republican-dominated redistricting.
posted by at by at 10:51 AM on February 11 [15 favorites]


Showing lots of earlier violence makes it even easier for the Republicans to say

Republicans will say anything that's convenience, even if it contradicts the clear evidence or what they said the day before. It's high time Democrats and the media stopped pretending the Republicans argue in anything resembling good faith and not care what they say. The evidence is overwhelming and damning.

Equally damning is the Republican refusal to hold Trump accountable for trying to influence a foreign government to interfere in the election on his behalf, much less incite an insurrection once he lost. We must neither forget nor forgive.
posted by Gelatin at 11:16 AM on February 11 [14 favorites]


Texas is the new California. They have worked and worked to get corporations to move to Texas like HP, Oracle, Tesla. [...] You want to turn Texas blue? Let the GOP do it for you! They are bringing loads of voters to the state who largely want: low taxes, gay marriage, immigrant rights, safe schools, reproductive rights, etc.


There are more Trump voters in California than Texas


So I don't think it's correct to say that "Californians moving to Texas are Democrats" without evidence; And moreso, political parties are not particularly consistent at the state level (they are more consistent at the national level) in which policies they champion, so even if they were CA Democrats moving to TX, that doesn't mean they are going to support CA Democratic policies in Texas.

And Austin is not special in Texas in terms of growth, Dallas, Houston, and Austin are each growing about equally and more than any other city in the US (Phoenix AZ also regularly featured at the top).
posted by The_Vegetables at 11:30 AM on February 11 [3 favorites]


jenfullmoon: "Do we have a rule... in which the Republicans will pick the absolute worst possible choice they can possibly make at all times?"

Not Republican-specific, but we could apocryphally call it Churchill's Law: “Americans can always be trusted to do the right thing, once all other possibilities have been exhausted.”
posted by Riki tiki at 11:43 AM on February 11 [8 favorites]


And Austin is not special in Texas in terms of growth, Dallas, Houston, and Austin are each growing about equally and more than any other city in the US

The six largest cities in Texas (Houston, San Antonio, Dallas, Austin, Fort Worth, and El Paso) all went for Biden in 2020.
posted by Atom Eyes at 11:44 AM on February 11 [1 favorite]


The Democrats have really made their point across and the stance of the Republicans - if they persist - will be the future touchstone of bad faith in politics. And to think that the events of the 6th are just the icing on the cake of Trump's time in the office. His whole presidency is a monument to immaturity, the incapacity to withstand consequences, and face reality.
The people invading the Capitol have been dealt with with much care and they were so full of the idea of their own strength that they maybe don't realize the lengths the forces went to in order to protect them. The footage is amazing.
posted by nicolin at 11:46 AM on February 11 [7 favorites]


The six largest cities in Texas (Houston, San Antonio, Dallas, Austin, Fort Worth, and El Paso) all went for Biden in 2020.

But the Congressional representatives up for election and other positions generally went to Republicans.
posted by The_Vegetables at 11:47 AM on February 11


[Y'all, this isn't the "what is the political future of Texas" thread, please let this be.]
posted by cortex (staff) at 11:48 AM on February 11 [15 favorites]


I just saw that someone on Reddit noted how Tuberville saying to Trump "Mr. President, they just took the Vice President out, I've got to go" followed very shortly by Trump's tweet "Mike Pence didn’t have the courage to do what should have been done to protect our Country" sounds really fucking scary if you think about the double meaning/possible misunderstanding of "took out" and the past tense of the tweet.
posted by jason_steakums at 12:05 PM on February 11 [58 favorites]


Just like the jobs of American factory workers have moved to China and the jobs of American technical professionals have moved to India, the jobs of American political pundits have moved to Russia. How's that globalization feeling now?

To my great shame David Frum is actually a fellow Canadian (and was once an NDP campaign volunteer!).
posted by srboisvert at 12:10 PM on February 11


To my great shame David Frum is actually a fellow Canadian

Yes, but he went all-in as a loyal Republican and became a U.S. citizen.
posted by JackFlash at 12:22 PM on February 11


I love that every time that Raskin mentions laws and norms related to what's expected of the President, he always refers to the (role of) President as "he or she." It's such a tiny thing, but I get a little grin every time he does it.
posted by Mchelly at 12:22 PM on February 11 [44 favorites]


Rumor has it that the defense team is planning on playing a bunch of clips of Democratic officials saying mean things about Neil Gorsuch and Brett Kavanaugh and footage from the Black Lives Matter protests from this past summer for three hours and then resting their case. Source.
posted by all about eevee at 12:44 PM on February 11


Rumor has it that the defense team is planning on playing a bunch of clips of Democratic officials saying mean things about Neil Gorsuch and Brett Kavanaugh and footage from the Black Lives Matter protests from this past summer for three hours and then resting their case. Source.
Philip Bump adresses this in The Washington Post (as did the impeachment managers): The ludicrous ‘whatabout’ defense of Trump’s Jan. 6 rhetoric
posted by mumimor at 12:51 PM on February 11 [3 favorites]


I suppose I don't have to point out "But that guy also murdered someone" is not a murder defense, even if that guy really did also murder someone.
posted by Mr.Encyclopedia at 12:52 PM on February 11 [16 favorites]


The team plans to include video presentations showing Democratic leaders using similar language to Trump, including one clip of Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer outside the US Supreme Court, saying "I want to tell you, Gorsuch, I want to tell you, Kavanaugh, you have released the whirlwind, and you will pay the price. You won't know what hit you if you go forward with these awful decisions," referring to Supreme Court Justices Neil Gorsuch and Brett Kavanaugh.

lol, subpoena literally any random BLM protestors and ask if they'd take direction from Chuck Schumer.
posted by jason_steakums at 12:54 PM on February 11 [51 favorites]


what was that smirk at "outlandish lawyers' theories" at the end of raskin's summation? (here at 4:27:11ish)
posted by 20 year lurk at 1:28 PM on February 11


There is always the possibility that Mitchy the kid rounded up the ole gang and told them what for. And that they've chosen their seven sacrificial lambs so that the rest of them have plausible deniability and performative outrage at those traitors.

Yes, I'm well aware that I'm a hopeless optimist.
posted by evilDoug at 1:33 PM on February 11


Though I prefer to think of myself as a fair weather pessimist.
posted by evilDoug at 1:36 PM on February 11 [1 favorite]


sounds really fucking scary if you think about the double meaning/possible misunderstanding of "took out" and the past tense of the tweet.

Damn. Now that you've brought that up, I can't interpret Trump's tweet any other way.
posted by lord_wolf at 1:36 PM on February 11 [10 favorites]


and, you see, i can't get the image of him evacuating or being evacuated out of my mind.
posted by 20 year lurk at 1:52 PM on February 11 [4 favorites]


and, you see, i can't get the image of him evacuating or being evacuated out of my mind.
posted by 20 year lurk at 1:52 PM on February 11


You are a monster. My brain will never heal.
posted by Abehammerb Lincoln at 1:58 PM on February 11 [12 favorites]


This isn't about reason or rationality, or what I believe is likely... But emotionally, I just don't know how hard it will hit me if they acquit. I can't see that horizon; I can't make myself look at it, in order to foresee that possibility. It is this emotional blankness, when I try to imagine that possibility. It scares me.
posted by meese at 2:13 PM on February 11 [5 favorites]


Don't hurt yourself over this. That party will acquit. Republican apparatus knows one thing, and that is staying on brand with the team. They will then also spin this as how ineffective the Dems are, which is more bullshit. Trump and his kids will gloat like hell.

Hopefully the real courts going after them will hit stick.
posted by Abehammerb Lincoln at 2:19 PM on February 11 [26 favorites]


"He was already impeached twice! Hasn't he suffered enough?"
posted by kirkaracha at 2:26 PM on February 11


Nope. He has not suffered enough. Not nearly enough.
posted by wabbittwax at 2:32 PM on February 11 [16 favorites]


and, you see, i can't get the image of him evacuating or being evacuated out of my mind.
I'll confess: I didn't think he could be made more vacuous.
posted by Nerd of the North at 2:49 PM on February 11 [1 favorite]


Also.. the Trump defense team's strategy seems to me to boil down to:
Your honor, I feel so confident [about the outcome] that I can waste the court's time by rating the super-hunks.
posted by Nerd of the North at 2:51 PM on February 11 [1 favorite]




Just a note about the coverage, during the break they reviewed some of the media reports, what some websites are saying. Then you see a hand reach in and physically scroll the touchscreen to continue reading. They have a camera pointed at an ipad, that's their solution for displaying a webpage on air.

What's c-span's budget? Did covid affect the bake sale this year?
posted by adept256 at 3:23 PM on February 11 [7 favorites]


From Atom Eyes' Twitter link: "[Manu Raju] asked Trump lawyer David Schoen if it was appropriate to meet with senators who are jurors, and he said: 'I think that’s the practice of impeachment. There’s nothing about this thing that has any semblance of due process whatsoever.'"

I know it's a mistake to even hope for carriage of justice in this thing, but holy fuck
posted by The demon that lives in the air at 3:34 PM on February 11 [22 favorites]


We're going to find out Lyndsey betrayed the nation for a golf club membership and free omelette bar.
posted by adept256 at 3:43 PM on February 11 [8 favorites]


From Atom Eyes' Twitter link: "[Manu Raju] asked Trump lawyer David Schoen if it was appropriate to meet with senators who are jurors, and he said: 'I think that’s the practice of impeachment. There’s nothing about this thing that has any semblance of due process whatsoever.'"

In the casual sense, that of a criminal trial, he's not exactly wrong, but in the context of Senate impeachment trials, "Due Process" is whatever the Senate decides it is.

There's plenty of Due Process going on, but E-List lawyers probably wouldn't intuitively understand the difference.

That aside, remember when the standard was, "Beyond even the appearance of impropriety"? What's going on with their meeting may not be against the rules, but it sure isn't proper.
posted by mikelieman at 3:48 PM on February 11 [15 favorites]


Expulsion needs to be on the table
posted by fluttering hellfire at 3:53 PM on February 11 [15 favorites]


Republicans love to act like impeachment of Republicans (and also honestly news coverage of Republicans) is improper if it doesn't adhere to the letter of criminal due process though, so throw it on the hypocrisy pile Mount Hypocrisy, the world's tallest landfill
posted by jason_steakums at 3:59 PM on February 11 [6 favorites]


Mount Hypocrisy, the world's tallest landfill

Add jury nullification and blue-lives-matter to the heap.
posted by They sucked his brains out! at 4:26 PM on February 11 [6 favorites]




How about if you don't sit and listen to the evidence you don't get to be on the jury. Wild idea, I know.
posted by adept256 at 5:04 PM on February 11 [27 favorites]


I missed a nice detail, tuning in late yesterday: Del. Stacey Plaskett is a former student of Rep. Jamie Raskin; he spent more than 25 years as a constitutional law professor at American University's Washington College of Law before being elected to Congress. House Del. Stacey Plaskett makes history at Senate impeachment trial (CNN) Plaskett has prior prosecutorial experience. Before her election to Congress, she served as assistant district attorney for the Bronx District Attorney's Office and as senior counsel at the US Department of Justice. She was also general counsel for the Virgin Islands Economic Development Authority. [...] Raskin said on Wednesday as he introduced Plaskett that she was "also my law student at American University's Washington College of Law." He added, "I hope I'm not violating any federal educational records, laws, when I say she was an A student then and she's an A+ student now."
posted by Iris Gambol at 5:13 PM on February 11 [10 favorites]


(I just got off a Zoom meeting with eight Scouts, working on the Citizenship in the Nation merit badge, and we did a "Jeopardy" game. One quesiotn was about how many people are in Congress and where they're from -- so we got to talk about Plaskett and the other Delegates!)
posted by wenestvedt at 5:31 PM on February 11 [5 favorites]


Someone just reminded me of the evidence that I found most disturbing yesterday—the audio tapes of the police reporting screaming for back-up. These are the same guys who are (mostly) back at work, securing the building, I wonder what they think about the apparently pro forma Republican vote.
posted by TWinbrook8 at 5:35 PM on February 11 [12 favorites]


End of day 3. An avalanche of evidence. What's striking is the level of self-incrimination. Damned by their own words and actions? These people were confessing to the crime as they were committing it. Why? They had confidence that they had the full support of the president. Because he told them that. Here's video of him saying that over and over. Here's video of them saying that over and over. We have the confessions, an overwhelming number of confessions.

Their impunity, the boldness in live-streaming the crime, lies in their faith in Trump. He gave them no reason to doubt it. At any time he could have, with just a tweet. Just a tweet, one tweet. When has he ever hesitated to tweet? Why would he do that, they were following his orders just as he wished. Why would he pick up the phone, tap a few buttons and call them off, when they were doing the job. The job was to overthrow the government. He is guilty, guilty, guilty.
posted by adept256 at 5:42 PM on February 11 [17 favorites]


A deep dive into the original "Guilty, guilty, guilty!" (i.e. Doonesbury).
posted by PhineasGage at 5:48 PM on February 11 [8 favorites]


These are the same guys who are (mostly) back at work, securing the building, I wonder what they think about the apparently pro forma Republican vote.

They just trust the plan.
posted by pee tape at 6:12 PM on February 11 [1 favorite]


Several GOP senators just met with Trump’s defense attorneys, including Cruz and Graham. Lee also spotted going in.

I'm guessing that Josh Hawley is gonna be mad he didn't get invited to sit at the grownups' table.
posted by JackFlash at 6:29 PM on February 11 [5 favorites]


Bill Kristol on Twitter: (twitter.com)
FWIW

Reading a couple of tea leaves, adding rounded teaspoon of wishful thinking:

Likely guilty votes: Romney, Sasse, Toomey, Collins, Murkowski, Cassidy

Could vote guilty: McConnell, Shelby, Burr, Inhofe, Capito, Grassley, Portman, Cornyn, Tillis, Sullivan, Barasso, Hoeven

68-32
posted by ChurchHatesTucker at 8:41 PM on February 11 [3 favorites]


Could vote guilty: McConnell, Shelby, Burr, Inhofe, Capito, Grassley, Portman, Cornyn, Tillis, Sullivan, Barasso, Hoeven

Capitol Hill meets Powerball.
posted by They sucked his brains out! at 8:44 PM on February 11 [6 favorites]


Capitol Hill meets Powerball.

Oh, come on. With Powerball, there's a chance. :\
posted by Jonathan Livengood at 9:45 PM on February 11 [25 favorites]


Inhofe? I've lived in Oklahoma all of my life and I have never seen him do anything resembling a decent vote. Him voting against Trump would really wreck me.
posted by Quonab at 9:49 PM on February 11 [3 favorites]


Additionally, how could it be Inhofe without Lankford?
posted by Quonab at 9:56 PM on February 11


I feel so depressed I have to give myself hope somehow:

If they convict him --> Dems managed to convict Trump and they are the actual party of law and order.

If they acquit --> GOP is married to Trump and QAnon, material for the midterms.

The thing is I'm not confident voters will punish Republicans. I have lost so much faith in fellow Americans.
posted by ichomp at 10:52 PM on February 11 [15 favorites]


I'm guessing that Josh Hawley is gonna be mad he didn't get invited to sit at the grownups' table.

They're keeping him clean in case it matters. There's still a long game going on.
posted by rhizome at 11:00 PM on February 11 [2 favorites]


Fred Kaplan in Slate: How Close Did the Capitol Rioters Get to the Nuclear “Football”?

Spoiler: pretty damn close, and they could potentially have revealed things like target lists, retaliatory options, safe sites for evacuation, and so forth. It would have been hugely damaging.
posted by Joe in Australia at 11:02 PM on February 11 [8 favorites]


they could potentially have revealed things like

I have to imagine it has more than a TSA-approved padlock protecting it.
posted by rhizome at 12:16 AM on February 12 [1 favorite]


Any IT person will tell you, your padlock may as well be made of cardboard if the human with the key is dumb as shit. Trump had the key.
posted by adept256 at 12:38 AM on February 12 [2 favorites]


I think the guy holding it is what is protecting it more than a special lock. What is "it", anyhow, besides papers the user can read with plans, codes, a radio, and the military guy able to offer guidance?
posted by floam at 1:13 AM on February 12 [3 favorites]


Information security is a solved problem in computer science. We can make things as secure as you like. If there is a code only one person shall know, we can sort that out. We can't do anything about them writing it on a cheeseburger wrapper, which is my point.
posted by adept256 at 1:26 AM on February 12 [4 favorites]


Manu Raju: Several GOP senators just met with Trump’s defense attorneys, including Cruz and Graham. Lee also spotted going in. Graham refused to talk about it after. “See you tomorrow,” he told me. Schoen told us there’s nothing inappropriate about meeting with jurors in impeachment trial
posted by Atom Eyes at 3:20 PM on February 11 [7 favorites −] [!]


and
Bill Kristol on Twitter: (twitter.com)
FWIW

Reading a couple of tea leaves, adding rounded teaspoon of wishful thinking:

Likely guilty votes: Romney, Sasse, Toomey, Collins, Murkowski, Cassidy

Could vote guilty: McConnell, Shelby, Burr, Inhofe, Capito, Grassley, Portman, Cornyn, Tillis, Sullivan, Barasso, Hoeven

68-32
posted by ChurchHatesTucker at 8:41 PM on February 11 [+] [!]


Because Graham, Cruz and Lee are the most prominent cowards in the room. If there is a growing majority for convict, they will be anxious and trying to figure out how to remain in control. Hawley feels safe because he is a jerk.
posted by mumimor at 1:28 AM on February 12 [1 favorite]


I think that is a lot more than a rounded teaspoon of wishful thinking.

However, consider this --

Number of democrats who voted for Andrew Johnson's impeachment: 0
Number of democrats who voted for Andrew Johnson's conviction: 0

Number of democrats who voted for Bill Clinton's impeachment: 5
Number of democrats who voted for Bill Clinton's conviction: 0

Number of republicans who voted for Donald Trump's first impeachment: 1 former republican, then independent
Number of republicans who voted for Donald Trump's first conviction: 1

Number of republicans who voted for Donald Trump's second impeachment: 10

If even 2 republicans vote to convict, it will be the most bipartisan conviction vote for on a presidential impeachment in U.S. history.
posted by kyrademon at 3:43 AM on February 12 [41 favorites]


Likely guilty votes: Romney, Sasse, Toomey, Collins, Murkowski, Cassidy

Okay, I'm with you this far.

Could vote guilty: McConnell, Shelby, Burr, Inhofe, Capito, Grassley, Portman, Cornyn, Tillis, Sullivan, Barasso, Hoeven

68-32


Inhofe? The guy who said 'they're losing credibility the longer they talk'? We'll get Romney and Sasse, probably Collins and Murkowski too, and we might catch a couple retirees, but I don't see sixty votes, let alone sixty-seven. If, as rumored, today's defense is going to be a bunch of First Amendment talk and videos of Democrats saying nice things about BLM protests, I don't see that moving the needle much in either direction.
posted by box at 5:53 AM on February 12


Today is going to be....painful. The culmination of a 5 year campaign of "both sides do it, well it doesn't matter what we did because black people burned cities! SCARY footage, yelling, look they're worse than us!" It is going to be inflammatory bullshit all the way down, because all they have is outrage. We know this.

So I will likely be taking a step back from watching and commenting today, but for those who have stronger mental fortitude than I please post any "relevant" updates.

Serious question: is there anything we can do to even have the smallest impact? Do we bombard the offices of the possible swing senators with calls, emails etc to demonstrate public support? If anyone has some links or more helpful information here please share.

I am feeling the despair with the rest of you about the likely outcome (and was worried about the inevitable political backlash), but this trial was worth it even if no chance of victory. None of us know how the arc of history will bend, yet if there is any hope for a future worth fighting for this trial makes clear that people at the time did the best they could to restrain an autocrat. And perhaps we will in time learn how to limit presidential power and prevent this from happening in the fir-(ahh lol who am i kidding that's not gonna happen)
posted by andruwjones26 at 6:21 AM on February 12 [5 favorites]


The guy who said 'they're losing credibility the longer they talk'?

That's actually completely true for the rusted-on Turnip fan audience segment. To people so Fox-addled that their remaining thoughts consist almost entirely of sound bites, anybody who takes two days and a mountain of evidence to make a point that Fox would have condensed into a pithy five second slogan does lose credibility.

Habitual Fox viewers don't need mountains of evidence to make up their minds. All they need is for three or four people they identify with to agree vehemently with each other for a minute or two and then move on. If you bore them, especially if they don't like you to begin with, you lose them.

These are the folks who genuinely do inhabit the fabled post-truth world. This is why Turnip and his enablers know full well that actual facts don't matter at all; they can just lie and lie and lie and lie to the rubes forever and keep on getting away with it. When the lies work in the rubes' favour, the rubes become usefully happy; when they don't, the rubes become usefully furious. It's win-win.
posted by flabdablet at 6:23 AM on February 12 [19 favorites]


videos of Democrats saying nice things about BLM protests

Which may be a suitable fig leaf for those who decided in advance on acquittal. But (and I know I'm preaching to the choir here) the House Managers devoted an entire segment of their case to showing insurrectionists who, by their own admission, were there because Trump wanted them there, Trump had called them there. I doubt the former President's lawyers can find a single BLM protester who was there because of Pelosi, or Schumer, or whatever other Democratic boogeyman they try to pin it on.

I hope the House Managers hammer that point in their closing arguments.
posted by DevilsAdvocate at 7:28 AM on February 12 [6 favorites]


Serious question: is there anything we can do to even have the smallest impact? Do we bombard the offices of the possible swing senators with calls, emails etc to demonstrate public support? If anyone has some links or more helpful information here please share.

I think it does have an impact when representatives/senators are flooded with calls and mails, and I think we've seen that happen several times during the Trump years. So yes, do that. And write letters to the editor in your local papers and call in to talkshows. Follow the lead of the impeachment managers, talk about the sacrifice of the Capitol Police, the threats towards Pence, the disrespect for the constitution and the very heart of the democratic proces (both the election and the buildings).
The Republican politicians don't have a moral core or any consistent opinions, but they are moved by the tide of public sentiment.
posted by mumimor at 7:46 AM on February 12 [4 favorites]


Probably click bait from Chris Cillizza at CNN, but I will dream for moment: Nikki Haley makes her move against Donald Trump.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 7:50 AM on February 12 [1 favorite]


Haley is an opportunistic bozo who enabled many of Trump's worst impulses, helping sour and destroy relationships with friendly countries on his behalf. Her career should have been ended permanently, but I guess the media likes a comeback story.
posted by They sucked his brains out! at 7:57 AM on February 12 [17 favorites]


Yeah, Haley is not a good person. But it is always relevant to see in which direction opportunistic bozos are heading, because they follow the crowd, not their (eventual) convictions
posted by mumimor at 8:00 AM on February 12 [13 favorites]


Haley's also laying the groundwork for how they'll spin acquittal by proclaiming he's not going to run again or can't realistically win again which is going to end all shockedpikachuface.jpg like 2016 when he gets the nom again
posted by jason_steakums at 8:09 AM on February 12 [1 favorite]


I don't believe that enough cowards will find the courage to convict Trump. I just hope this works as a communication to the public. Everyone on the site knows the Trump is a fascist who would set fire to democracy in a second if he could get away with it. But that is not most Americans. A lot of people still think he's just a slightly more racist version of your standard Republican. They do not see him as a threat to their way of life. Repeating again and again that this is a guy who was willing to kill his own vice president overcomes his white privilege and sets him up as an actual monster that needs to be stopped.
posted by benzenedream at 8:32 AM on February 12 [5 favorites]


Just like the 6/10 compromise at the Constitution's drafting, the Electoral College's allowance for land to vote, etc., this requirement in the Senate for 2/3 of Senators to convict an already-impeached office-holder is yet another left-over, baked-in legacy of the nation's founding White Male Supremacy.

It is not democractic. It is sick. It is continuing to kill the nation.
posted by riverlife at 8:35 AM on February 12 [13 favorites]


For those of you who refuse to click on a link to Cilizza (good choice), here's the Politico profile of Nikki Haley where she's started to try and put some daylight between herself and Trump. It's an interesting profile, though I really don't think Haley comes off well.
posted by grandiloquiet at 8:47 AM on February 12 [2 favorites]


Even though he is 87 and has nothing left to do with his life before it stops, Chuck Grassley is an incredible spineless piece of shit and will not vote to convict. Signed, An Iowan Really Sick of Chuck Fuckin' Grassley.

"I'm guessing that Josh Hawley is gonna be mad he didn't get invited to sit at the grownups' table.

They're keeping him clean in case it matters. There's still a long game going on.
posted by rhizome at 1:00 AM on February 12 [2 favorites +] [!]"


Nah, they just like him even less than Ted Cruz.
posted by OnTheLastCastle at 8:55 AM on February 12 [9 favorites]


Nikki Haley: "Jared Kushner is such a hidden genius that no one understands."

That's about all you need to know about Haley's judgement of character.
posted by JackFlash at 8:57 AM on February 12 [35 favorites]


Wait, there is a new lawyer? I thought it was Castor and Schoen? Who is this guy?!
posted by OnTheLastCastle at 9:11 AM on February 12


The music cues really help make sense of this montage; soaring strings for Trump, aggressive drums for everyone else :P
posted by mazola at 9:14 AM on February 12


michael van der veen, cspan eventually identified
posted by 20 year lurk at 9:14 AM on February 12 [1 favorite]


You can tell a show is in trouble when they're introducing new cast members halfway through the season.
posted by Grangousier at 9:16 AM on February 12 [18 favorites]


Nikki Haley: "Jared Kushner is such a hidden genius that no one understands."

Galaxy genius is hiding all evidence of your genius by being consistently incompetent.
posted by srboisvert at 9:17 AM on February 12 [5 favorites]


van der veen has been on the team as long as the other current bozos. I think this is just proof that even the worst set of lawyers understands putting Castor up there again would be a massive mistake (though still rooting for it!)

It is notable that van der veen sued Trump in 2019. He "filed a lawsuit against then president Donald Trump accusing him of making repeated claims that mail voting is “ripe with fraud” despite having “no evidence in support of these claims.”

He's doing a fine job checking off all the stupid GOP talking points today though. Left-wing rioters, cancel culture, "Democrat politicians", "time to move on", "divisive and unconstitutional impeachment". Very predictable raftload of bullshit.
posted by mcstayinskool at 9:25 AM on February 12 [1 favorite]


This is the pettiest possible critique, but: who wears a baby-shit brown tie in a presentation like this?
posted by Sublimity at 9:25 AM on February 12 [2 favorites]


Failing to focus on the timeline of Trump's actions just before, during, and just after the riot will have turned out to be a critical mistake by the prosecution, I think. Republicans are cowards who will acquit, anyway, but that level of detail needed to be on the record books. Leaving that out just allows his lawyers get away with whataboutism we're seeing, focusing on words, as opposed to the perpetrator's actions.
posted by They sucked his brains out! at 9:26 AM on February 12 [2 favorites]


...aaaaand he's already done. I wonder if these guys are going to rest their case within the hour because they know it doesn't matter and the outcome is pre-ordained.
posted by mcstayinskool at 9:26 AM on February 12 [2 favorites]


This is like a blizzard of logical fallacies. I can't even keep up.
posted by desuetude at 9:30 AM on February 12 [6 favorites]


i liked "peaceful patriotic protest is the very antithesis of an ... assault on the capitol" and litigation "is not an incitement to resurrection."
posted by 20 year lurk at 9:31 AM on February 12


THE SENATE TRIAL IS DUE PROCESS YOU MORON.
posted by RonButNotStupid at 9:32 AM on February 12 [4 favorites]


REPORTED!!!!!
posted by zerobyproxy at 9:33 AM on February 12 [1 favorite]


What???
I too cannot bear to watch this, but what you are quoting seems -- just weird?
posted by mumimor at 9:33 AM on February 12


Purple tie guy is complaining that the prosecution’s case relied on evidence that should not be considered (such as hearsay), that the defense was not given a sufficient opportunity to review and test the evidence, and that the hearing was rushed. I assume most people have no idea what evidentiary standard applies in an impeachment trial, so he is just asserting that the highest standards applicable in criminal trials apply.
posted by prefpara at 9:33 AM on February 12 [1 favorite]


What percentage of the senate are qualified lawyers? This all sounds legalish but not actually legal, and probably worse to people trained in the law.
posted by Wrinkled Stumpskin at 9:34 AM on February 12 [1 favorite]


Oh my gods this nitpick over "reportedly" is embarrassing.

And now he's claiming that tweets were falsified.
posted by desuetude at 9:34 AM on February 12


Purple tie is now going beyond that and actually suggesting that the evidence presented by the house managers was manipulated somehow.
posted by prefpara at 9:35 AM on February 12


The lying press...the lying press...

We know this playbook.

These people are so dangerous.
posted by zerobyproxy at 9:36 AM on February 12 [7 favorites]


Oh my god, he's saying that because one of the tweets said "send in the calvary" instead of "cavalry" it was actually an invocation of Christ, not a typo
posted by theodolite at 9:38 AM on February 12 [20 favorites]


The CALVARY! This is Ah-May-Zing. As many a devout Christian has said, especially in the run-up to Easter, "The Calvary is coming!"
posted by Wrinkled Stumpskin at 9:38 AM on February 12 [6 favorites]


The problem with his argument (well, one problem) is that the people in the room were there, and saw what they saw. And the many videos that have circulated are out there already. Everyone basically knows what happened. Nitpicking one particular tweet or complaining about how different videos were stitched together doesn’t change the big picture, which everyone is actually clear on. This just isn’t a hearing about what happened. It’s a hearing about whether Trump should be held accountable for what everyone saw happen in real time.
posted by prefpara at 9:39 AM on February 12


He's full of ship.
posted by zerobyproxy at 9:39 AM on February 12 [4 favorites]


Ah, because they did not play the ENTIRE speech by Trump and cut to the crowd cheering, he claims that the video is totally taking Trump out of context. Uhhhhh.
posted by desuetude at 9:40 AM on February 12


I also liked the part where the first guy was acting like we live in a world where dog whistles don’t exist and no one can be held accountable unless they are incredibly explicit and literal. Will no one MURDER THIS TROUBLESOME PRIEST FOR ME?
posted by prefpara at 9:42 AM on February 12 [17 favorites]


So the 'fine people on both sides' is invalid because the BLM people weren't fine? wtf?
posted by mazola at 9:44 AM on February 12 [1 favorite]


If you look closely, in the far distance, behind the neo-nazis and racists, there were people who were protesting the removal of a Robert E Lee statue, the man who fought the United States on behalf of the failed Confederacy. But, look closely. They are fine people.
posted by zerobyproxy at 9:45 AM on February 12 [2 favorites]


Now we’re on very familiar ground. The Democrats are biased. The Democrats are hypocrites.
posted by prefpara at 9:47 AM on February 12


Somehow Democrats calling for the impeachment of the President is evidence of a conspiracy against the President. Whut.

Ah, we're in the "Democrats say mean things about Trump" montage.
posted by desuetude at 9:48 AM on February 12 [3 favorites]


Words, like covfefe, *mean* something!
posted by riverlife at 9:48 AM on February 12


always hated calvary/cavalry confusion; never considered it was laying groundwork for that absurdity.
posted by 20 year lurk at 9:50 AM on February 12 [1 favorite]


Now I just wish Elizabeth Warren was president.
posted by cashman at 9:51 AM on February 12 [11 favorites]


Elizabeth Warren's Militia Activate! Book keepers, librarians, teachers Activate!
posted by zerobyproxy at 9:52 AM on February 12 [17 favorites]


Apart from the word "fight" which has no meaning whatsoever: Fight for your right to party, fight for your right to healthcare, go over there and fight those people. Noun, verb, armed, unarmed, the word fight has no meaning at all.

I'm actually wondering if there's a rogue linguist helping them and deliberately trying to induce semantic satiation in the viewers.
posted by Wrinkled Stumpskin at 9:53 AM on February 12 [1 favorite]


This supercut of Democrats saying "fight" is exhausting and childish. Trump's lawyers think that this is a rebuttal? They quickly pulled this together because they think it's equivalent to what the Managers presented?
posted by desuetude at 9:53 AM on February 12


Contextless clips are terrible and misleading and should not be allowed!

Now here's an endless series of contexteless clips…
posted by mazola at 9:54 AM on February 12 [17 favorites]


This is like watching Jeffpardy
posted by theodolite at 9:54 AM on February 12 [2 favorites]


This is inane.
posted by Sublimity at 9:54 AM on February 12


What I want to know is, if we can’t trust the Democrats because they hate trump and have always hated him, then let’s set aside their interpretation of trump’s words and just go to his supporters who love him. They seemed to think that he was inciting them to riot. Where did they get that idea? I don’t think it was from watching MSNBC.
posted by prefpara at 9:54 AM on February 12 [20 favorites]


His main point was that Trump was taken out of context, and then he rolls this tape?
posted by desuetude at 9:55 AM on February 12 [1 favorite]


I think the Democrats did a meticulous job of providing context tbh.
posted by mazola at 9:56 AM on February 12 [4 favorites]


Looking forward to the same clip of Republicans saying they're going to fight against healthcare for all, against the hoax of COVID-19, against BLM, against letting immigrant children out of cages, etc., etc., et-nauseatingly-cetera.
posted by riverlife at 9:57 AM on February 12


More than five straight minutes of the word "fight" out of context. Is he trying to just annoy us to death?
posted by desuetude at 9:57 AM on February 12


Pull up transcripts of any democratic politician
Control + F "fight"
Profit
posted by cashman at 9:58 AM on February 12 [3 favorites]


Ahhh, I was waiting for the comparison to BLM protests. Because ransacking an Old Navy at midnight is totally the same as breaking into the US Capitol during a legislative session, beating a police officer to death, and hunting down members of Congress calling for their deaths.
posted by desuetude at 10:02 AM on February 12 [26 favorites]


Showing people voicing objections through a process and then honoring the outcome of process somehow helps Trump how?
posted by mazola at 10:02 AM on February 12


purple tie is now arguing: how dare Democrats complain that Republicans lied about the election being rigged when the Democrats have previously raised real concerns about actual voter suppression?
posted by prefpara at 10:03 AM on February 12 [5 favorites]


If you want a preview of R talking points just go to the comments section of the worst newspaper you can think of. Days ago the bots were going on about how BLM burned so many cities to the ground and anyways the capitol police were to blame for doing such a bad job
posted by benzenedream at 10:05 AM on February 12 [3 favorites]


It's the lead-in to relitigating the claims of election fraud.

Uh, dude, you seem to have skipped over that these challenges from Democrats didn't incite an insurrection.
posted by desuetude at 10:05 AM on February 12 [2 favorites]


...this is a guy who was willing to kill his own vice president...

I mean, more needs to be said?
posted by From Bklyn at 10:06 AM on February 12 [4 favorites]


So, he's proving that Democrats ARE concerned about election fraud...
posted by desuetude at 10:08 AM on February 12 [1 favorite]


As his closing argument, purple tie treated us to Jerry Nadler arguing against Bill Clinton‘s impeachment. I guess those situations are the same!

Yellow tie is now starting with the First Amendment. I am exhausted.
posted by prefpara at 10:10 AM on February 12


"Mister" Trump?

Could someone tell my local personal injury lawyer that it's actually customary to refer to former Presidents as "President."
posted by desuetude at 10:11 AM on February 12 [1 favorite]


"This is not 'whatabout-ism'…"

cue whatabout-ism.
posted by mazola at 10:17 AM on February 12


Yellow tie warns us that this is the first step down a slippery slope where the majority will be impeaching minority party politicians on a daily basis. Cue more videos of Democrats using violent language.
posted by prefpara at 10:17 AM on February 12


They're repeating the same reel now?
posted by desuetude at 10:17 AM on February 12 [1 favorite]


Lady justice is blind, not stupid.
posted by mazola at 10:19 AM on February 12 [1 favorite]


More than five straight minutes of the word "fight" out of context. Is he trying to just annoy us to death?

I think they're going for Semantic satiation.
posted by ChurchHatesTucker at 10:19 AM on February 12 [5 favorites]


This is not a good argument but it IS the kind of thing Donald Trump loves to see, so they are going with it.
posted by all about eevee at 10:20 AM on February 12 [2 favorites]


Reading the full text of the First Amendment makes it even more clear that it's not really applicable to this situation at all. Congress isn't making a law. Trump isn't "the people" petitioning the government.
posted by desuetude at 10:22 AM on February 12 [4 favorites]


this is sad and disheartening but no surprise. except that calvary canard.
posted by 20 year lurk at 10:23 AM on February 12 [1 favorite]


Michael Van der Veen's discourse is a whataboutism diamond in the rough. It's so intense that when he began talking about the "Framers" he lost me immediately.
posted by nicolin at 10:24 AM on February 12


Impeachment is a political act that's left deliberately vague so that Congress wouldn't have its hands tied trying to remove a wannabe dictator. Congress could call his gold toilet a high crime and convict him if it wanted to.
posted by Your Childhood Pet Rock at 10:25 AM on February 12 [2 favorites]


Yellow tie is now starting with the First Amendment. I am exhausted.

Sigh. The First Amendment does not protect you from the consequences of your speech.
posted by nubs at 10:25 AM on February 12 [8 favorites]


Now he's going DARVO on the use of the word "frivolous" in all the informed commentary about the First Amendment red herring. Classic.
posted by flabdablet at 10:26 AM on February 12 [2 favorites]


The letter from constitutional law scholars is a direct personal threat to van deer Veen's career. Are You Fucking Kidding Me. What about free speech again? What about citing case law?
posted by desuetude at 10:26 AM on February 12 [1 favorite]


I know we all want to vent our spleens, but the last few days of our impeachment discussion have had a really high context-to-hot-takes ratio. Can we maybe dial back on the liveblogging nature of this thread?
posted by The demon that lives in the air at 10:27 AM on February 12 [23 favorites]


I'm not watching, so I may be wrong. But as a university professor, this reminds me too much of the endless parade of jocks winging it I suffer every year. Like Trump himself. It's a powerplay. They are never trying to convince anyone. They are saying "fail me and let my parents' lawyer call the dean".
posted by mumimor at 10:29 AM on February 12 [19 favorites]


Yellow Tie is fantastic! He has spoken in complete sentence after complete sentence - so much red meat! Is FOXNEWS paying his bill? because he has kicked out a slew of 'terrific' sound bites...

that is his role in this, right?
posted by From Bklyn at 10:30 AM on February 12


Yellow tie warns us that this is the first step down a slippery slope where the majority will be impeaching minority party politicians on a daily basis. Cue more videos of Democrats using violent language.

That would just be the majority party wasting their legislative calendar to end up not getting enough votes to convict over and over and the Dems would be smart enough not to do that. Now if the Republicans had the majority they'd absolutely burn their calendar on tearing down Dem politicians outside of a few tax break votes a year... and that's the threat they're voicing.
posted by jason_steakums at 10:38 AM on February 12 [4 favorites]


Congress could call his gold toilet a high crime and convict him if it wanted to.

"Someone get Madame Speaker on the phone!!"
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 10:40 AM on February 12


(Van der Veen's cadence, timbre, and style remind me of John Goodman/Walter Sobchak in Lebowski).
posted by mazola at 10:42 AM on February 12


So to summarize the defense so far (and in fairness, I've only been tuned in for a little bit now):

"NO U"
posted by jquinby at 10:44 AM on February 12 [8 favorites]


This is like a blizzard of logical fallacies. I can't even keep up.

A form of bad faith argument so common it has a name: Gish gallop.
posted by Gelatin at 10:48 AM on February 12 [25 favorites]


Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble...

...just to keep the non-peaceable events of January 6th in their proper context.
posted by cenoxo at 10:49 AM on February 12


Ah, because they did not play the ENTIRE speech by Trump and cut to the crowd cheering, he claims that the video is totally taking Trump out of context. Uhhhhh.

Noe that if his claim were true, he could score big points by playing the speech in full and putting it in context. That he chooses not to, and instead complain about "out of context" with no elaboration, is an admission he's just pounding the table.
posted by Gelatin at 10:53 AM on February 12 [2 favorites]


(Van der Veen's cadence, timbre, and style remind me of John Goodman/Walter Sobchak in Lebowski).

Van der Veen's cadence, timbre, and style remind me of Al Bundy.
posted by pee tape at 10:55 AM on February 12 [1 favorite]


“Your honor, my client Donald Trump is accused of robbing a bank. But no! It is our claim today that Representative Ilhan Omar once ate a grape at the grocery store and didn’t pay for it! The defense rests.”
posted by East Manitoba Regional Junior Kabaddi Champion '94 at 11:11 AM on February 12 [27 favorites]


I remain unconvinced. I require a 10-minute supercut of people eating grapes.
posted by davelog at 11:27 AM on February 12 [7 favorites]


I mean, did Trump harass the tellers in the lead-up to his alleged heist? Oh, wait, he did: For years, Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) and other progressive congresswomen of color have endured the full brunt of Donald Trump’s xenophobic solicitations. [Minnesota Attorney General Keith] Ellison, a fellow Muslim American, has watched in horror as Omar has sustained countless threats while serving in office. At times, the racist rhetoric came from the now-defeated White House leader at the podium. “Trump told Minnesota, specifically, to rail and spew hatred against Ilhan herself, personally,” Ellison said, referencing a moment when the commander-in-chief falsely charged that Omar “hates our country,” inspiring outrage rooted in Islamophobia. [...]

As the violence inside the Capitol escalated, Omar was taken to a secure location with Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA), Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (D-MD), Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY), and Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) due to her high-security risk, according to an aide familiar with the events. [...] “It was House and Senate leadership, plus Ilhan Omar,” the aide said.

This high-security risk status meant McConnell was in the room as Omar "started retooling the impeachment articles she had started drawing up in response to Trump’s attempt to pressure Georgia officials to meddle in the election." -- ‘The Squad’ Didn’t Need a Riot to Know MAGA Fanatics Are Lethal, The Daily Beast, Jan. 12, 2021.
posted by Iris Gambol at 11:28 AM on February 12 [7 favorites]


Senator Chris Coons (D-Delaware) pointing out on PBS that the president’s lawyer did not address that Trump’s fight speech (Freedom of speech!!!) was intended to stop the certification of votes in Congress that day. Yamiche Alcindor reporting that the Fight!!! clip of Dems [repeated at least three times] was initially greeted stoically and then gave way to muffled grins. Also that dramatic claim that the president’s lawyers were not given access to the unreleased video footage was false.

So, a token defense to provide a fig leaf for Republican senators.
posted by TWinbrook8 at 11:31 AM on February 12


the calvary canard is at about 42:23 of cspan's "watch from beginning." bears seeing first hand. (and comparing with the many tweets and screeds about the cavalry coming.) on edit: dammit now they got me doing it too!
posted by 20 year lurk at 11:36 AM on February 12


I just got to the bit where Trump’s lawyer Schoen accuses House Manager Raskin of lying, on the basis that, if you intensely zoom into a photograph taken of Raskin preparing his slides by the New York Times, you can see that he is formatting a tweet for display, and has not yet added the correct timestamp. He was presumably about to do that when the photograph was taken, because it was fixed before the slide was displayed to the Senate.

If only Johnnie Cochran were alive to fit this revelation into a rhyming couplet.
If the tweet was formatted
Then broke no law Trump did
no I think that needs some workshopping
posted by East Manitoba Regional Junior Kabaddi Champion '94 at 11:42 AM on February 12 [5 favorites]


Summarizing Van der Veen's arguments so far:

1. He didn't say any of the things we just heard him say.
2. Even if he did say those things, he didn't incite the insurrection.
2. Even if he did incite the insurrection, the First Amendment says he had a right to.

And there's this lovely little snippet at 16m42s where, drawing a false equivalence between the Hanging Chads controversy of 2000 and sixty baseless lawsuits from Turnip, he says this: "In 2000, the dispute over the outcome was taken all the way to the Supreme Court, which ultimately rendered a decision. To litigate questions of election integrity within this system is not incitement to resurrection..."

So the calvary is not coming?
posted by flabdablet at 11:45 AM on February 12 [13 favorites]


I have to admit that Trump’s team has made a compelling case that we don’t know enough about Trump’s actions vis-à-vis the riot. When we’re done barring him from federal office he should definitely receive a full criminal trial with all due process
posted by East Manitoba Regional Junior Kabaddi Champion '94 at 11:49 AM on February 12 [20 favorites]


I require a 10-minute supercut of people eating grapes.

Case dismissed

posted by flabdablet at 11:51 AM on February 12 [4 favorites]


I'll be in my bunk.
posted by davelog at 11:55 AM on February 12 [4 favorites]


flabdablet, kindly quit libeling national treasure Turnip the tortoise

WARNING for gore, body horror in this article: “I Don’t Trust the People Above Me”: Riot Squad Cops Open Up About Disastrous Response to Capitol Insurrection (ProPublica, Feb. 12) Interviews with 19 current and former officers show how failures of leadership and communication put hundreds of Capitol cops at risk and allowed rioters to get dangerously close to members of Congress. One officer in the middle of the scrum, a combat veteran, thought the rioters were so vicious, so relentless, that they seemed fueled by methamphetamine. [...] The combat veteran was hit with bear spray eight times. His experience overseas "was nothing like this,” he said. “Nothing at all.”
posted by Iris Gambol at 11:59 AM on February 12 [18 favorites]


Here we go. More red meat for Trump. They're re-litigating the Georgia election results.
posted by RonButNotStupid at 12:08 PM on February 12


Even if the Republicans acquit and it's a political loss for the Democrats, this trial absolutely needed to happen. It's not an option to just let an insurrection go.
posted by ichomp at 12:08 PM on February 12 [35 favorites]


Oh god that grapes video needs a warning for people with misophonia. Flagrant loud mouth sounds ought to be an impeachable offense.
posted by emelenjr at 12:16 PM on February 12 [8 favorites]


Right? In what universe does that get classified as ASMR?
posted by bink at 12:21 PM on February 12


Luckily it won't really be a political loss for the Dems if he's acquitted though, it'll just be status quo. The Republicans aren't going to have anybody undecided going "well now that they lay it all out, that Trump fella seems alright!" in significant numbers. It would be more an existential loss for everyone, which uh... is not comforting.
posted by jason_steakums at 12:21 PM on February 12 [3 favorites]


CSPAN caller just said "he [Trump] is a Godly man, and a godly man wouldn't incite a riot!".

I have no words.
posted by mazola at 12:29 PM on February 12 [8 favorites]


Here we go. More red meat for Trump. They're re-litigating the Georgia election results.

Biden has won all three times (first count, recount, and audit), so another win is just fine.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 12:31 PM on February 12 [1 favorite]


I had to stop watching. I have to deal with family members still supporting this nonsense, and the only thing I can do is be as nice as I can while I point out anything factually untrue.

I can't believe I have to argue about why it's patriotic to wear a mask, or that there's no conspiracy of "the media" lying about the pandemic death toll. I can't believe I have to explain why a lynch mob nearly murdering people in Congress and literally beating a cop to death with the American flag is so dire.

Boycott Fox News, OANN, Newsmax, and anything else that climbs out of that steaming pile of bullshit.
posted by nicoffeine at 12:33 PM on February 12 [11 favorites]


"he [Trump] is a Godly man, and a godly man wouldn't incite a riot!"

My dad used to tell a joke story (not sure where he heard it) about a man who had a delusion that he was dead. His wife brought him to the doctor, and the doctor proceeded to talk with him. The doctor says, "You know, of course, that dead men don't bleed, right?" The man says, "Yes, doctor, that's certain!" The doctor then pricks the man's arm with a needle. The man yelps a bit. Then he looks at his arm. He stares hard at it, and an expression of wonder spreads over his face. "Well would you look at that .... Dead men do bleed."
posted by Jonathan Livengood at 12:43 PM on February 12 [24 favorites]


In case you were laboring under the illusion that Lisa Murkowski would do the right thing: "I think they are putting on a good defense today."
posted by dirigibleman at 12:44 PM on February 12 [25 favorites]


Trump's defense brought up some points that I do feel should be responded to:

1. I did feel they made good criticism of the short clips in the videos. I was nervous when they first ran them, because the clips had context. I think I remember seeing the original speech when Trump told his base to primary the people who won't fight.

2. Did he in fact tweet multiple times that afternoon asking for peace? I think that would be a flawed argument if so. But to be honest, I'm curious why the managers made their argument about Trump's failure to tell his followers to back off, rather than his failure to tell the national guard to move in? if he had done that, we on mefi would have said it was proof of a coup at the time.)

3. I'm not certain why they were making a first amendment argument. Let me see if I understood it correctly - political speech can never be illegal; this was political speech; therefore, it is legal.
posted by rebent at 12:48 PM on February 12


The NYTimes commentary alongside their live-feed has been... in line with what I've been thinking.

example: (M.Habermann) This entire argument from Castor is the same one the Trump White House made for four years – for every controversy, Trump was either joking or being taken out of context.

also, (Z. Kanno-Youngs) Worth repeating that the Homeland Security Department has said domestic extremists continue to be motivated by the false statements of election fraud. And yet, here we are listening to such statements again.
posted by From Bklyn at 12:55 PM on February 12 [7 favorites]


Has no one quietly approached two "types" of republican senators 1) slightly reasonable and 2) those wanting to run in 2024. 1) to promise help for any retribution from Trump in their next election, even promising to get dems to switch votes to override crazies. And for 2) wouldn't be in their self interest to exclude Trump from running.
posted by sammyo at 1:11 PM on February 12


...this is a guy who was willing to kill his own vice president...

I mean, more needs to be said?


He was only willing to have someone else kill his own vice president.

He was always too cowardly to do it himself despite probably having hundreds of opportunities and being both substantially taller and heavier.

He also had other people do all his firing while he was president as once again he was too cowardly to do it himself.

So when it came to insurrection he followed his well established modus operandi.
posted by srboisvert at 1:12 PM on February 12 [5 favorites]


THE DEFENSE doesn't know a timeline of what Trump did on Jan 6 after he left his talk!
posted by Sublimity at 1:24 PM on February 12 [3 favorites]


He was always too cowardly to do it himself despite probably having hundreds of opportunities and being both substantially taller and heavier.

[lrrr]Why does Trump, the largest elected member of the executive branch, not simple eat Pence?[/lrrr]
posted by GCU Sweet and Full of Grace at 1:27 PM on February 12 [14 favorites]


I made the mistake of watching and my blood pressure is paying the price. Collins/Murkowski posed what appeared to be a good, non-softball question. It was repeated twice (because apparently the defense counsel didn't understand it the first time/was delaying) and was the following:

"Exactly when did President Trump learn of the breach of the Capitol? What specific actions did he take to bring the rioting to an end, and when did he take them? Please be as detailed as possible."

and the response begins with...

"The house managers have given us absolutely no evidence to get around to that question...we've been able to piece together a timeline going back to December blah blah blah....lot of interaction between authorities to have security that day..." and then goes on to blame democrats for the rush to judgement and that's the problem with this whole thing (end scene).

Obviously they were going to lie and mostly avoid answering, but they just completely ignored everything about the question and didn't even try to respond. Their defense is...the managers are holding out and not telling us about this (probably another lie) so we don't know! Like...it's not your fucking job to know this on your own?? They can't begin to answer one of the most basic questions they should have prepared for; what was your client's timeline during this event? The truth is so bad they couldn't even attempt to reply with a fake timeline? Or they just don't care enough to research and would rather be disgusted by everything the opposition says.

I hope this moment is replayed on the news because it truly feels insane how they could ENTIRELY dodge a reasonable question from Republican senators. Hey Collins/Murkowski, there's your cover to impeach right there!! Don't even think about it, just go with it!
posted by andruwjones26 at 1:31 PM on February 12 [11 favorites]


In case you were laboring under the illusion that Lisa Murkowski would do the right thing: "I think they are putting on a good defense today."
Murk's a lawyer who passed the bar exam on her fifth try: After her fourth failure, she and a friend who also struggled with it went to Portland, Ore., to take a preparatory course. During the course, they learned strategies for successfully tackling the standardized portion. Murkowski returned to Alaska and passed the bar exam. She was so impressed with the company that offered the prep course, PMBR, that for several years afterward she was its representative in Alaska. [...] After she passed the bar exam, Murkowski worked from 1987 to 1989 as an attorney in the Anchorage District Court Clerk's office. She was in private practice from 1989 to 1998, when she won a state House seat.

ugh, from barely two days ago -- Murkowski: I don't know how Trump could be elected again (The Hill, 2/10/2021). “The evidence that has been presented thus far is pretty damning,” Murkowski said.

A month ago: Alaska Sen. Lisa Murkowski calls on President Trump to resign, questions her future as a Republican (Anchorage Daily, Jan. 8, 2021) “I want him to resign. I want him out. He has caused enough damage,” Murkowski, R-Alaska, said during an interview from her small Capitol office, steps away from the Senate chambers that were invaded by pro-Trump rioters on Wednesday.[...] He only wants to stay there for the title. He only wants to stay there for his ego. He needs to get out. He needs to do the good thing, but I don’t think he’s capable of doing a good thing,” she said.

Even before Election Day, the president refused to say whether he would accept the election results, Murkowski said, and then tried to overturn the results. “I will attribute it to the president, who said, even after his vice president told him that morning, ‘I do not have the constitutional authority to do what you have asked me to do. I cannot do it. I have to protect and uphold the Constitution.’ Even after the vice president told President Trump that, he still told his supporters to fight. How are they supposed to take that? It’s an order from the president. And so that’s what they did. They came up and they fought and people were harmed, and injured and died,” Murkowski said. [Bolding mine.]
posted by Iris Gambol at 1:32 PM on February 12 [8 favorites]


Thank you all for watching this for me. I spent the day cleaning because I knew the shit would be flying fast and furious. Gawd, we're all lost. But then there's the AG of Fulton County, Georgia. Worth watching if you missed her on Maddow.
posted by bluesky43 at 1:37 PM on February 12 [3 favorites]


this trial absolutely needed to happen. It's not an option to just let an insurrection go.

Eh? This is setting a precedent that the impeachment process is meaningless if the President has the backing of 34 Senators (which they always have, since we have a broken two party system). In fact, we're not even removing a sitting President, we're voting on what is closer to a censure.

This trial is basically saying insurrection is fine if you're the President, and conviction in an impeachment process is impossible. Another one of those "checks and balances" has been tested and found wanting.
posted by meowzilla at 1:40 PM on February 12 [3 favorites]


This is setting a precedent that the impeachment process is meaningless if the President has the backing of 34 Senators (which they always have, since we have a broken two party system). In fact, we're not even removing a sitting President, we're voting on what is closer to a censure.

This is an excellent point. This will set a precedent that impeachment is broken and can no longer be relied upon in these situations.

And then we have to figure out how to move the overton window where most people agree it's reasonable and acceptable to actually have a way (or other means) of removing a President for gross misconduct. By making it clear that the highest honor of the nation, the most dignified, respected, important job, needs to have more safeguards. If impeachment won't work, it's time to find other ways to remove future autocrats.
posted by andruwjones26 at 1:48 PM on February 12 [8 favorites]


He was only willing to have someone else kill his own vice president.

“Will no-one rid me of this turbulent democracy?”
posted by East Manitoba Regional Junior Kabaddi Champion '94 at 1:48 PM on February 12 [9 favorites]


This is setting a precedent that the impeachment process is meaningless if the President has the backing of 34 Senators

I’m afraid that precedent was already set by the Founding Fathers when they wrote it in the Constitution. Irresponsible, I call it
posted by East Manitoba Regional Junior Kabaddi Champion '94 at 1:50 PM on February 12 [3 favorites]


Apropos of who knows, Senator Cramer (R-North Dakota) asked a question: Given the allegations of the House manager that President Trump has tolerated anti-semitic rhetoric, has there been a more pro-Israel president than President Trump?
posted by TWinbrook8 at 2:04 PM on February 12


Feels like he thought more people would pin the COVID-19 failure on Pence, but no one remembered the VP headed the task force. (The Lancet just published a damning report about Trump's presidency.) Pence hadn't sacrificed enough to ride his coattails, in his eyes? (Though I think Tuberville's "they took [Pence] out" could have been interpreted as, ah, Secret Service removed Pence from the Capitol, now I can tweet at will and gin up my followers further, by a certain treasonous genocidal maniac.)
posted by Iris Gambol at 2:05 PM on February 12 [1 favorite]


There was probably an assumption that legislators were more loyal to the country than their party.

The first President impeached (Johnson) was only acquitted by a single vote, and the threat of impeachment was enough to make Nixon resign.
posted by meowzilla at 2:06 PM on February 12 [3 favorites]


This guy van der veen is totally the kind of lawyer that trump would love.
posted by bluesky43 at 2:09 PM on February 12 [3 favorites]


I would really, really, really like to learn the republican trick where you can use that ONE time you say the right word ("he said peaceful! HE SAID PEACEFUL") and scream that over and over again, and ignore the other hundreds of terrible things he said in the same speech. Because he said peaceful!!! How can you possibly misinterpret the other things he said?!?!

Is it really as simple as having no shame? There must be something else to it
posted by andruwjones26 at 2:10 PM on February 12 [10 favorites]


Maybe the fix for future impeachments is the use of a secret ballot. I think this trial would have a fighting chance for conviction if the cowards didn’t have to go on the record.
posted by Teegeeack AV Club Secretary at 2:10 PM on February 12 [14 favorites]


Jiminy Crickets!
posted by pee tape at 2:13 PM on February 12 [2 favorites]


Michael Beschloss @BeschlossDC
Van der Veen’s ugly insolence toward U.S. Senators is astounding.
5:06 PM · Feb 12, 2021
posted by bluesky43 at 2:14 PM on February 12 [3 favorites]


> "The first President impeached (Johnson) was only acquitted by a single vote, and the threat of impeachment was enough to make Nixon resign."

Not a single Democrat voted for Johnson's impeachment or conviction. The fact that it came so close was an artifact of the lopsided nature of the post-Civil War congress.

Nixon's resignation currently stands as the only time in U.S. history that (the threat of) a conviction for an impeachment has had bipartisan teeth.
posted by kyrademon at 2:16 PM on February 12 [3 favorites]


He actually said a cavalcade of Dana Carveys were coming to the carvery to eat chilli con carne. But sure, twist his words!
posted by adept256 at 2:21 PM on February 12 [6 favorites]


I haven't been able to catch all of the presentations today, so I'm curious if the House managers ever addressed the precedents (if they are indeed precedents) cited by the Defence. (One was about a sheriff and possibly had a reference to religion in the name of the case).
posted by sardonyx at 2:36 PM on February 12


Van der Veen (The V is for Victory) is a personal injury and criminal attorney in Philadelphia.
posted by TWinbrook8 at 2:36 PM on February 12


Raskin now pointing out that the house managers did not present evidence re Trump’s actions (or lack of them) during the riot because “your client” refused to appear in front of us so we could question him.
posted by TWinbrook8 at 2:41 PM on February 12 [5 favorites]


(to reiterate) Trump's lawyer said during the trial Q&A that "at no point" was Trump aware that Vice President Mike Pence was in danger during the riot.

But Republican Sen. Tommy Tuberville told reporters he told Trump that Pence had just been rushed away
posted by bluesky43 at 2:42 PM on February 12 [7 favorites]


Man, subpoena Trump. Why don't the HM subpoena Trump?
posted by bluesky43 at 2:48 PM on February 12 [2 favorites]


I have to admit that Trump’s team has made a compelling case that we don’t know enough about Trump’s actions vis-à-vis the riot. When we’re done barring him from federal office he should definitely receive a full criminal trial with all due process

Serious question: Would the loophole of double jeopardy apply, after acquittal? This is a trial but not in a court of law, in the strictest sense, so I'd hope not.

On the other hand, if his lawyers argue he can't be impeached because he isn't currently president, then a criminal trial that is more appropriate for charges of sedition and conspiracy should be granted to him, by all means. Let's bring Coach Tuberville and Rebekah Mercer in to give testimony under penalty of perjury.
posted by They sucked his brains out! at 2:53 PM on February 12


Man, subpoena Trump. Why don't the HM subpoena Trump?

Per the Senate organizing resolution setting out the schedule for the trial, debate on whether to subpoena witnesses and/or documents occurs after the Q&A session. They can't subpoena Trump or anyone else unless and until they've decided to hear from witnesses.
posted by DevilsAdvocate at 2:55 PM on February 12 [5 favorites]


They could ask to call him as a witness. The Senate would have to vote to let them subpoena him, depositions, etc. which would mean the trial would suspend for however long that took. There are also potential fifth amendment issues, though the Senate can do whatever they want.

Getting him to show up would be easier than when he was President, but still not easy.

If they don’t call witnesses, the trial will be over by tomorrow night.
posted by Huffy Puffy at 2:56 PM on February 12 [2 favorites]


if the House managers ever addressed the precedents (if they are indeed precedents) cited by the Defence. (One was about a sheriff and possibly had a reference to religion in the name of the case).

not as such, sardonyx. i think somebody may have said in passing that one of those cases wasn't relevant (but it could have been journalist commentary during a recess). raskin has responded several times on the brandenburg question, reasonably effectively distinguishing it from the current case, not least because this case actually did result in a violent mob doing mob violence.
posted by 20 year lurk at 2:56 PM on February 12 [1 favorite]


Thanks 20 year lurk. Personally, I think that's a missed opportunity. I'd like to have heard how/why these precedents aren't relevant and why the Defence was wrong in citing them.
posted by sardonyx at 3:01 PM on February 12


van der veem just raised wood v. bond (?) again as to elected parties' freedom of speech rights. hopefully raskin will receive a question directly on it so he can respond substantively, should it truly so merit.

... on preview: raskin just asked to respond as to bond v. floyd. (wood and bond would, i guess, be two different cases).
posted by 20 year lurk at 3:01 PM on February 12 [2 favorites]


I personally don't want that man given a platform to speak ever again. But if it led to him also not being allowed to run for office, that'd be worth it.
posted by Abehammerb Lincoln at 3:02 PM on February 12 [5 favorites]


Lawyer Who Recently Joined Trump’s Impeachment Defense Team Previously Sued Him for Repeatedly Making Voter Fraud Claims ‘Despite Having No Evidence’, Law & Crime, Jerry Lambe, Feb 9th, 2021:
The newest addition to Donald Trump’s impeachment defense team is an attorney who less than one year ago was suing then-President Trump, alleging in federal court that his role in undermining the U.S. Postal Service (USPS) and baseless claims of mail-in voter fraud would disenfranchise Pennsylvania citizens.

Philadelphia lawyer Michael T. van der Veen, a longtime personal injury attorney, filed the suit in Aug. 2020 against Trump and U.S. Postmaster General Louis DeJoy on behalf of Melvin Johnakin, an independent candidate for the U.S. House of Representatives.

The complaint alleged that DeJoy and Trump had “taken actions in the form of operational changes which will result in widespread, multiple-day delays in mail delivery and deprive Pennsylvania voters of the fundamental right to vote and have that vote counted.”

Describing DeJoy as a “Republican Party megadonor,” van der Veen took also aim at Trump’s promulgation of false conspiracy theories that were designed to damage public’s confidence in the integrity of voting by mail.

“These actions also arise in an environment subject to repeated claims by President Donald J. Trump that voting by mail is ripe with fraud, despite having no evidence in support of these claims, and lawsuits filed by the Trump campaign to stop mail-in voting in states such as Nevada and Pennsylvania,” the complaint stated.

The suit was settled as part of an agreement preventing USPS from implementing many of the proposed changes that could have affected mail delivery....
posted by cenoxo at 3:11 PM on February 12 [5 favorites]


I would not ever have assumed that Michael van der Veen would ever accept any case based on the basis of moral consistency. In fact, I'm guessing that the highest bidder gets this guy's attention. I hope he was paid in advance for this despicable set of lies he's promoting today.
posted by bluesky43 at 3:14 PM on February 12 [2 favorites]


Van der Veen (The V is for Victory) is a personal injury and criminal attorney in Philadelphia.

His office is just down the street from Four Seasons Total Landscaping. (joke)
posted by biogeo at 3:16 PM on February 12 [1 favorite]


I would not ever have assumed that Michael van der Veen would ever accept any case based on the basis of moral consistency...

...(paraphrasing) ‚what you need is a criminal lawyer...‘
posted by From Bklyn at 3:19 PM on February 12 [4 favorites]


VdV, repulsive as some of his behavior and argument, has been quite effective, perhaps the most effective of the former president's counsel.
posted by 20 year lurk at 3:21 PM on February 12 [2 favorites]


Schumer just closed things off by proposing legislation to give Eugene Goodman the Congressional Gold Medal and the Senators gave him a standing ovation (he was in the Chamber).
posted by essexjan at 3:26 PM on February 12 [22 favorites]


They just had a standing ovation for Officer Goodman. Yes, it made me cry.
posted by meese at 3:26 PM on February 12 [5 favorites]


The defense saying that Trump's speech couldn't have incited anyone at the Capitol because they were a mile away and couldn't have heard it? Like no one has a phone?
posted by transient at 3:29 PM on February 12


> His office is just down the street from Four Seasons Total Landscaping. (joke)

Well, it used to be just up the street, sort of. Four Seasons Total Landscaping is in Holmesburg in northeast Philly; Van der Veen's office was in Feasterville, about ten miles due north in Bucks County.

Anyway, his office is in a historic Center City property now, and its lavish restoration and renovation was featured in the Philly Business Journal. (It really is a beautiful building with an interesting history. It's right in the Gayborhood and I walk by it alllll the time.)
posted by desuetude at 3:44 PM on February 12 [2 favorites]


Five ways Trump's impeachment differs from a court trial., The Hill, John Kruzel, 02/08/2021:
  1. Senators are both judge and jury
  2. There is no standard of proof
  3. There are no rules of evidence
  4. The punishment is political
  5. Impeachment verdict can’t be appealed
Details in the article.
posted by cenoxo at 3:45 PM on February 12 [7 favorites]


Yamiche Alcindor
@Yamiche Despite Trump’s lawyer disputing Sen Tuberville's statement that he told Trump that VP Pence was being evacuated, Tuberville says tonight he stands by his story. He recounted it again in detail to a few of us reporters up here saying he told Trump that Pence was being evacuated.
6:45 PM · Feb 12, 2021
posted by bluesky43 at 3:46 PM on February 12 [10 favorites]


reverting to sardonyx' question on alternative 1st A precedent, courtesy of maryland's van hollen, maryland's raskin on floyd v. bond v. floyd (at 6:08:21). in that case, when GA legislature didn't want to seat julian bond because SNCC had opposed vietnam war, sup.ct. said not swearing him in violated his first amendment rights.
that's the complete opposite of [former president]: not only was he sworn in... he was president for almost four years before he incited this violent insurrection against us and he violated his oath of office. that's what this impeachment trial is about.... please don't desecrate the name of julian bond, a great american, by linking him with this terrible plot against america that just took place in this storming of the u.s. capitol.
i don't know about the wood case. house managers' reply brief, at p.22 dispenses with wood v georgia thus: "President [nonono!] is not helped by his reliance on a case concerning punishment for statements made by an elected official 'as a private citizen' that 'did not present a danger to the administration of justice.'" (my deletion/replacement). i see no reason to question house managers' command of the relevant law or veracity.
posted by 20 year lurk at 3:47 PM on February 12 [4 favorites]


PBS NewsHour
@NewsHour "It would not completely shock me if we had some unexpected conviction votes,"
@nytdavidbrooks says.

/ that I'm quoting David Brooks tells you something about my state of mind (desperation).
posted by bluesky43 at 3:48 PM on February 12 [7 favorites]


It would not surprise me if David Brooks was full of shit.
posted by Abehammerb Lincoln at 3:51 PM on February 12 [35 favorites]


What is the timeline from this point? When would such "unexpected conviction votes" happen?
posted by another_20_year_lurker at 4:10 PM on February 12


It would not completely shock me if everything plays out exactly the way we have always known that it will.
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 4:16 PM on February 12 [27 favorites]


I stubbornly refuse to predict what will happen, because I do not know the future, but as much as I'd like to think enough senators will do the right thing to get a full-throated conviction, I'm also intrigued to imagine that all the senators who voted that it was unconstitutional to impeach a former official will sit out the final vote, making it possible for 55 out of 55 to vote to convict (since it only has to be 2/3 of the senators present, if I understand correctly). It would be simultaneously craven and politically brilliant if McConnell secretly whipped all the Republicans to vote that it was unconstitutional and then to stay away from the final vote, giving everyone a weird fig leaf of a way to tell constituents they didn't vote to convict Trump, while still managing to eliminate his ability to run again.

(I know it's extremely unlikely; I just think it's an interesting possibility.)

Anyway - the future will bring what it brings. We all know what's likely, but then sometimes there are surprises. I'm going to wait and see.
posted by kristi at 4:37 PM on February 12 [3 favorites]


Multiple GOP congresspeople spilled info to CNN about Trump taunting McCarthy during the siege.
posted by Sublimity at 4:38 PM on February 12 [13 favorites]


It would not surprise me if David Brooks was full of shit.

David Brooks' entire career rests on the premise that both sides have value, no matter the sides. He has to believe, on a professional level, that there are members of the GOP who aren't radically opposed to democracy other than possibly Mitt Romney.
posted by mightygodking at 4:41 PM on February 12 [5 favorites]


> This guy van der veen is totally the kind of lawyer that trump would love.

He works pro bono?
posted by at by at 4:42 PM on February 12 [7 favorites]


What is the timeline from this point?

Trump impeachment vote Saturday? Schedule now, how it could change — When will the impeachment vote happen? On Friday, House managers and Trump defense team concluded their presentations. Here's how the Senate proceedings could wrap up this weekend., C/NET, Clifford Colby, Feb. 12, 2021:
...When is the impeachment vote?

The House managers and defense lawyers each had up to 16 hours to present their arguments, with neither side being permitted to present for more than 8 hours per day. The House managers finished their presentation on Thursday, Feb. 11, and Trump's attorneys used just 3 hours before they concluded their remarks on Friday.

Now that the Senate has moved to the senator Q&A with the House managers and defense attorneys, here is how the trial will unfold, with a vote possible as soon as Saturday.

Friday, Feb. 12: The defense wrapped up its presentation and Senators are asking questions, scheduled to take 4 hours.

Saturday, Feb. 13: Closing arguments for 2 hours for each side, and then the vote on conviction or acquittal. A two-thirds supermajority is required to convict...
posted by cenoxo at 4:48 PM on February 12 [3 favorites]


What is the timeline from this point?

Per the Senate organizing resolution:

1. Up to two hours of Senate debate, followed by a vote, on whether to subpoena witnesses and/or documents. [Conventional wisdom is that they will not.]
1a. If they do allow witnesses, the trial could take weeks more as witnesses have to be summoned and deposed before they can testify before the Senate.

2a. Up to one hour of Senate debate, followed by a vote, on whether to admit materials from the House Managers into evidence.
2b. Up to one hour of Senate debate, followed by a vote, on whether to admit materials from the former President's lawyers into evidence.

3. Up to four hours (two hours per side) for closing arguments.

4, optionally. Deliberation in closed session. Whether this happens and for how long is up to the Senate.

5. Vote on whether to convict on the Article of Impeachment. (2/3 majority required)
5a. If convicted, vote on whether to bar Trump from holding future federal office. (simple majority required)
posted by DevilsAdvocate at 4:58 PM on February 12 [3 favorites]


Up to two hours of Senate debate, followed by a vote, on whether to subpoena witnesses and/or documents. [Conventional wisdom is that they will not.]
1a. If they do allow witnesses, the trial could take weeks more as witnesses have to be summoned and deposed before they can testify before the Senate.


I understand the reasoning (the Senate desperately needs to pass COVID relief), but not subpoenaing Trump seems like a horrible mistake.
posted by mightygodking at 5:02 PM on February 12 [2 favorites]


I can't imagine Trump on the stand is going to do anything other than rant about a stolen election.
posted by at by at 5:08 PM on February 12 [1 favorite]


Under oath.
posted by nobody at 5:09 PM on February 12 [9 favorites]


With a cross examiner who he can't just walk out on.
posted by ocschwar at 5:14 PM on February 12 [3 favorites]


I can't imagine Trump on the stand is going to do anything other than rant about a stolen election.

Historically, Trump under oath is unlike any other version of Donald Trump: he becomes hyper-careful because he knows perjury is criminal and he "forgets" a lot of things or pleads the Fifth. Trump on the stand would look scared and weak, which would harm his image greatly.
posted by mightygodking at 5:19 PM on February 12 [25 favorites]


P.S. on the timeline above, I could easily see the Senate using little to none of the time allotted for debate in steps 1 and 2, which means they could move pretty quickly to closing arguments tomorrow.
posted by DevilsAdvocate at 5:23 PM on February 12 [1 favorite]


CNN reports "A furious McCarthy told the President the rioters were breaking into his office through the windows" -- based on that, is there an estimated time window for the McCarthy/Trump phone conversation? McCarthy had called Kushner, earlier in the siege it seems, and got nowhere.

["Details of the call emerged moments after both sides in Mr Trump’s historic second impeachment trial completed their arguments and Senators finished questioning them" is such b.s., it's more like details suppressed until arguments were completed. Trump was ‘loving watching the Capitol mob,’ former senior White House official claims (3 days ago, again via the Independent) -- go on the record/give testimony, or zip it already. Anyhow, Trump had McCarthy down to Mar-a-Lago on Jan. 28: Donald Trump, in a meeting with House Republican Leader Kevin McCarthy on Thursday, agreed to help the GOP retake control of the House in 2022.]
posted by Iris Gambol at 5:43 PM on February 12 [10 favorites]


Maybe the managers should subpoena McCarthy.
posted by Huffy Puffy at 5:51 PM on February 12 [7 favorites]


Key quote:
TRUMP: Well, Kevin, I guess these people are more upset about the election than you are
MCCARTHY: Who the fuck do you think you are talking to?


Hey babe, you were scared, you didn't know what you saying. I forgive you. And I promise I'll never do it again. I was just angry, you understand how I get sometimes. Of course I'll take you back, but don't you dare talk to me like that again.

Anyone who's been in an abusive relationship like this, the PTSD right now.
posted by adept256 at 5:51 PM on February 12 [15 favorites]


I mean FFS
HE DOESN'T LOVE YOU KEVIN!
DTMFA
posted by adept256 at 5:55 PM on February 12 [5 favorites]


it's more like details suppressed until arguments were completed.

In a conventional trial, lawyers aren't allowed to introduce new evidence during closing arguments. In an impeachment trial, there's not really anyone to stop them, other than the full Senate. Just sayin'...
posted by DevilsAdvocate at 6:01 PM on February 12 [1 favorite]


Read Trump's Jan. 6 Speech, A Key Part Of Impeachment Trial [includes PBS News Hour YT video], NPR, Brian Naylor, February 10, 2021. He concludes with the following words, repeating multiple times that "we" and "let us" are going to the Capitol:
So we're going to, we're going to walk down Pennsylvania Avenue. I love Pennsylvania Avenue. And we're going to the Capitol, and we're going to try and give.

The Democrats are hopeless — they never vote for anything. Not even one vote. But we're going to try and give our Republicans, the weak ones because the strong ones don't need any of our help. We're going to try and give them the kind of pride and boldness that they need to take back our country.

So let's walk down Pennsylvania Avenue.

I want to thank you all. God bless you and God Bless America.

Thank you all for being here. This is incredible. Thank you very much. Thank you.
Instead, Trump didn't lead anyone anywhere, or take anyone's back. He simply got back in his armored SUV and returned to the White House to safely watch what was happening.

Why didn't Trump go to the Capitol at that point? As with his impulsive Walter Reed excursion during his Covid-19 infection, his motorcade could have driven him to the Capitol among cheering crowds. Was this his original plan — cancelled by the Secret Service due to the rising violence there? — or were "we" and "us" just more Trumpian figures of speech?

I wonder what his militant followers, especially those arrested and charged with criminal offenses, think of his Mar-a-Lago golf scores now.
posted by cenoxo at 6:01 PM on February 12 [4 favorites]


Maybe the managers should subpoena McCarthy.

Or Roger Stone (the father of Stop The Steal).
posted by cenoxo at 6:11 PM on February 12 [2 favorites]


cenoxo: "Why didn't Trump go to the Capitol at that point? As with his impulsive Walter Reed excursion during his Covid-19 infection, his motorcade could have driven him to the Capitol among cheering crowds. Was this his original plan — cancelled by the Secret Service due to the rising violence there? — or were "we" and "us" just more Trumpian figures of speech?"

Earlier in the speech he said it explicitly:

"And after this, we're going to walk down, and I'll be there with you, we're going to walk down, we're going to walk down."

I think after he said that, much of the mob started moving, not waiting until the end of his speech. I don't know if he was lying about joining them, or if they had to change plans because it was already out of control by the time he finished.
posted by team lowkey at 6:31 PM on February 12 [2 favorites]


"And after this, we're going to walk down, and I'll be there with you, we're going to walk down, we're going to walk down."

Since the permit banned marching from the Ellipse, this is inciting an illegal act.
posted by mikelieman at 6:53 PM on February 12 [16 favorites]


TRUMP: Well, Kevin, I guess these people are more upset about the election than you are.
MCCARTHY: Who the fuck do you think you are talking to?


McCarthy's response, in a less-cursed world, would've been "Well, yeah. I won my reelection. How did you do?"
posted by delfin at 7:00 PM on February 12 [3 favorites]


A minute-by-minute timeline of Trump's day as the Capitol siege unfolded on Jan. 6, USA TODAY, Courtney Subramanian, February 11, 2021:
WASHINGTON – House impeachment managers on Thursday argued former President Donald Trump's actions not only fueled the violent assault on the Capitol in the months leading up to the Jan. 6 attack, but that he stood by as the riot raged and showed no remorse in aftermath, which left five people dead.

Through a series of audio and video clips from security footage – some of which were previously undisclosed – as well as rioters' social media accounts documenting the day, House impeachment managers prosecuting Trump argued that the former president failed to act as a mob forced their way inside the building and hunted for congressional leaders.

Rioters said at the time and later testified to authorities that they went to the Capitol at Trump's invitation. “Their own statements before, during and after the attack make clear the attack was done for Donald Trump, at his instructions and to fulfill his wishes,” Rep. Diana DeGette, D-Colo., said Thursday. “Donald Trump had sent them there.”

Here's a look at what Trump was doing on the day the attack unfolded:...
Details and other timelines in the article.
posted by cenoxo at 7:12 PM on February 12 [6 favorites]




Remember, as I have to remind myself, even with all of his aftershocks another day without Donald Trump as President is a thing of joy forever.
posted by cenoxo at 7:38 PM on February 12 [36 favorites]


Since the permit banned marching from the Ellipse, this is inciting an illegal act.

The managers should have looked into this. Many missed opportunities to keep this from happening again.
posted by They sucked his brains out! at 7:59 PM on February 12 [1 favorite]


Wasn't the permit changed at the eleventh hour (allegedly on the direct orders of Trump people) to include the march? I thought that was part of the evidence presented early in the trial by the managers?
posted by desuetude at 8:15 PM on February 12 [1 favorite]


Since the permit banned marching from the Ellipse, this is inciting an illegal act.

Well but you see he didn't tell them to march from the Ellipse. He may have implied marching from here, but march "from the Ellipse?" It is to laugh.
posted by rhizome at 8:25 PM on February 12


Trump had McCarthy down to Mar-a-Lago on Jan. 28: Donald Trump, in a meeting with House Republican Leader Kevin McCarthy on Thursday, agreed to help the GOP retake control of the House in 2022.

So was the agreement "we won't convict you now if you help us campaign next year"? Because loooool if so.
posted by ryanrs at 8:26 PM on February 12 [5 favorites]


I mean, I'm pretty low on sympathy for any Republican office-holder, but I have none whatsoever for anyone who makes a deal with Trump after a lifetime of well-documented evidence of how STUPID that is. Whatever the opposite of sympathy is, that's what I have.
posted by wabbittwax at 8:35 PM on February 12 [16 favorites]


The GOP is literally a gang. The blackmail, the transactions, the protection via favor of the mob boss, the base. I am not really shocked about that but I am exasperated that many Americans see this group of people as the right ones to run our country.
posted by ichomp at 8:47 PM on February 12 [12 favorites]


I’m not sure what the opposite of sympathy is but I have high hopes for an epic case of schadenfreud.
posted by double bubble at 8:49 PM on February 12 [1 favorite]


The rule that the Senate must suspend legislative work during an impeachment is kind of silly, particularly during the period of time when witnesses are being subpoenaed and deposed. There is absolutely no reason why Trump shouldn’t be defending himself in front of the Senate and during the time he delays the walk of shame, the Senate can pass Covid relief.
posted by jasondigitized at 9:00 PM on February 12 [4 favorites]


I assume that the intention was that a) impeachment is so serious an issue that undivided attention is required and b) if you are going to bring impeachment charges it should be only if it’s so important that it supersedes all other matters. There is some merit in these ideas but it’s not completely practical in today’s world.
posted by double bubble at 9:10 PM on February 12 [5 favorites]


I am not really shocked about that but I am exasperated that many Americans see this group of people as the right ones to run our country.

In Weimar Germany, everyday Germans could not imagine the crimes that the Nazis would eventually commit, on top of the ones they had already committed. Americans are still similarly inured, in their own way, to the possibility that members of our government would brazenly commit treason at this scale, and that such treason might extend further under such gangsters, who continue to foment conditions that hasten the collapse of our democracy.
posted by They sucked his brains out! at 10:09 PM on February 12 [21 favorites]


In Weimar Germany, everyday Germans could not imagine the crimes that the Nazis would eventually commit

And in 2021, far too many everyday Americans simply cannot imagine themselves as in any way comparable to everyday Weimar Germans. It's infuriating.
posted by flabdablet at 10:52 PM on February 12 [4 favorites]


Sen. Patty Murray recounts her narrow escape from a violent mob inside the U.S. Capitol

Republicans who acquit need to be held to account. This can't ever happen again.
posted by They sucked his brains out! at 11:11 PM on February 12 [17 favorites]


Closing arguments need to make clear that a Senator who fails to convict is a traitor.
posted by riverlife at 11:28 PM on February 12 [7 favorites]


traitor and/or too much of a coward to do their job.
posted by rifflesby at 12:06 AM on February 13 [4 favorites]


Twitter confirms Trump's ban is permanent, even if he runs again in 2024

In addition to Twitter, several other social media platforms including Facebook, Instagram (which is owned by Facebook,) Snapchat, and Twitch took action against Trump back in January. But Trump's hopes of getting back on Twitter if he were to run for president in 2024 are now officially squashed.

I mean, I'll take it. If only the GOP the courage of fucking twitter.

Trump Considers Building His Own Social Media Site After Twitter Ban

OK Stupid.
posted by adept256 at 2:36 AM on February 13 [23 favorites]



Trump Considers Building His Own Social Media Site After Twitter Ban

OK Stupid.


Without being able to use azure or aws or Google, he is really going to have to prove Sagan's maxim.
posted by Literaryhero at 5:23 AM on February 13 [6 favorites]


Trump Considers Building His Own Social Media Site After Twitter Ban

www.trumpthoughts.gov.www/trumpthoughts
posted by mmoncur at 5:49 AM on February 13 [5 favorites]


Reprinted by the Atlanta Journal Constitution, Donald Trump was sicker than acknowledged with COVID-19, New York Times; Noah Weiland, Maggie Haberman, Mark Mazzetti, Annie Karni; Feb 12, 2021:
President Donald Trump was sicker with COVID-19 in October than publicly acknowledged at the time, with extremely depressed blood oxygen levels at one point and a lung problem associated with pneumonia caused by the coronavirus, according to four people familiar with his condition.

His prognosis became so worrisome before he was taken to Walter Reed National Military Medical Center that officials believed he would need to be put on a ventilator, two of the people familiar with his condition said.

The people familiar with Trump’s health said he was found to have lung infiltrates, which occur when the lungs are inflamed and contain substances such as fluid or bacteria. Their presence, especially when a patient is exhibiting other symptoms, can be a sign of an acute case of the disease. They can be easily spotted on an X-ray or scan, when parts of the lungs appear opaque, or white....
Details in the article. During his treatment, Trump received an antibody mixture from Regeneron Pharmaceuticals (probably casirivimab and imdevimab); the steroid dexamethasone; and the antiviral drug remdesivir.
posted by cenoxo at 6:00 AM on February 13 [2 favorites]


I can't imagine Trump on the stand is going to do anything other than rant about a stolen election.

Raskin: Did you order the insurrection?

Trump: I did the job!

Raskin: Did you order the insurrection?

Trump: YOU'RE GOD DAMN RIGHT I DID!
posted by valkane at 6:07 AM on February 13 [5 favorites]


The rule that the Senate must suspend legislative work during an impeachment is kind of silly, particularly during the period of time when witnesses are being subpoenaed and deposed.

They can. They can also refer all or part of the trial to a committee and take it up later.
posted by Huffy Puffy at 7:20 AM on February 13 [1 favorite]


Day five has started. Here's a link to the C-Span feed on YouTube.

At 16 minutes in, Van der Veen demands that any possible depositions take place in his office in Philadelphia and proceeds to be laughed at by the entirety of the Senate chamber.
posted by mdonley at 7:20 AM on February 13 [11 favorites]


vandervermin performs outrage pretty well but doesn't know where he is. acting like the senate is bound by the conventions of civil trial. he just, rhetorically, demanded the opportunity to depose [everyone] at his office in philadelphia and the chamber laughed at him
leahy has, for the second time, reminded *everyone* that all parties are required to refrain from speech that is not conducive to civil discourse. (first time was last night during question time).
posted by 20 year lurk at 7:22 AM on February 13 [2 favorites]


54 vote for witnesses. then graham changes his vote to aye.
posted by 20 year lurk at 7:29 AM on February 13 [1 favorite]


my bad: they voted to open debate to call witnesses. not, yet, to call them. think i'll stop the liveblog attempt now, and settle into mute bafflement at senate procedure.
posted by 20 year lurk at 7:37 AM on February 13 [1 favorite]


Graham is just having dizzy dreams of Benghazi'ing Kamala Harris.
posted by valkane at 7:37 AM on February 13 [4 favorites]


so i guess all sorts of people are going to be called up - including, i hope, trump

this is going to be vicious - and meantime we have a crisis going on ...

what our leaders don't seem to understand is the american people will be convinced our political system isn't working at all - the guilt or innocence of trump is just a part of that

this is going to be embarrassing
posted by pyramid termite at 7:53 AM on February 13 [1 favorite]


this is going to be embarrassing

We can only hope.
posted by valkane at 7:58 AM on February 13 [3 favorites]


I dunno, both NYTimes and WaPo are reporting that witnesses are being called. This after McConnell announced he was going to acquit ("It was a close call"...yeah right, you cynical monster).

NYT is reporting the main witness they want to call is Jaime Herrera Beutler (R-WA) who witnessed McCarthy's call with the Monster asking for assistance.

"In her statement Friday night, Ms. Herrera Beutler said Mr. McCarthy told her that Mr. Trump had said the rioters storming the Capitol were “more upset about the election than you are,” and she pleaded with those who were at the White House with him that day, or former Vice President Mike Pence, to come forward and share eyewitness accounts and details about what they saw.

“To the patriots who were standing next to the former president as these conversations were happening, or even to the former vice president: If you have something to add here, now would be the time,” Ms. Herrera Beutler said in a statement."


I am extremely glad the Dems are showing some spine here. Of COURSE they should be calling witnesses. Get McCarthy and Tuberville both under oath after this too. F all these enablers, let them perjure themselves.
posted by mcstayinskool at 8:00 AM on February 13 [11 favorites]


I want them to call some technical experts in domestic terrorism and in coups abroad. The defense is trying to make this all seem subjective and I think testimony from people like that would be very important for the historical record and the wider public even if the GOP would find some flimsy reason to ignore it.

I also want them to call any capitol police officers who are willing to put it in their own words. Lindsay and co need to look in the eyes of the people who saved their asses while they lie and spin.
posted by jason_steakums at 8:01 AM on February 13 [19 favorites]


Herrera Beutler's statement is worth reading just for this sentence:
Finally, the President released a pathetic denouncement of the violence that also served as a wink and a nod to those who perpetrated it: “I love you,” he said to them, “you are special."
posted by box at 8:14 AM on February 13 [7 favorites]


*van der veen, when the motion for witnesses passed*
posted by 20 year lurk at 8:26 AM on February 13 [6 favorites]


*van der veen, when the motion for witnesses passed*

(A very apt description of the nonsense in this trial. They might as well be using gestures and dirt-scratching to make their points.)
posted by LooseFilter at 8:29 AM on February 13 [1 favorite]


Herrera Beutler:

She said McCarthy asked him “to publicly and forcefully call off the riot.”

Trump replied by saying that antifa, not his supporters, was responsible. When McCarthy said that was not true, the former president was curt.

“Well, Kevin, I guess these people are more upset about the election than you are,” he said, according to Herrera Beutler’s account of what McCarthy told her.

Either way, this sounds bad. If Trump believes its Antifa, why doesn't he call the out the Nation Guard? And then when told it's Trump supporters, he refuses to call off the rioters.

It seems Trump doesn't really care who the rioters are as long as a few congress members of either party, it doesn't matter, get killed to teach them a lesson about aggrieving Trump. It's all about Trump hitting back for his personal afflictions.
posted by JackFlash at 8:39 AM on February 13 [22 favorites]


My concern is that the rethuglicans will call irrelevant witnesses endlessly to, once again, prevent any potential for government to work. That’s their usual game plan. They have always tried to drown democracy in the bathtub.
posted by zenzenobia at 8:45 AM on February 13 [6 favorites]


*van der veen, when the motion for witnesses passed*

Totally off topic, but this really brought me back to Star Trek TNG, and the episode Darmok. "Shaka. When the walls fell…"
posted by Snowishberlin at 8:55 AM on February 13 [5 favorites]


My concern is that the rethuglicans will call irrelevant witnesses endlessly to, once again, prevent any potential for government to work. That’s their usual game plan. They have always tried to drown democracy in the bathtub.

Wouldn't they have separate votes for either each proposed witness or slates of witnesses, such that a bad faith proposal from the Republicans would simply be voted down?
posted by Jonathan Livengood at 8:57 AM on February 13 [4 favorites]


at which point they will cry that the trial wasn't fair because they couldn't call their witnesses

actually, i wonder if it would be good to give them as much rope as they need
posted by pyramid termite at 9:07 AM on February 13 [1 favorite]


Totally off topic, but this really brought me back to Star Trek TNG, and the episode Darmok. "Shaka. When the walls fell…"

Can't resist (sorry).
posted by LooseFilter at 9:07 AM on February 13 [2 favorites]


Can't resist (sorry). yt
posted by LooseFilter at 9:07 AM


Aha! I didn't see an explicit reference to TNG, but well played, both of you.
posted by Snowishberlin at 9:10 AM on February 13 [3 favorites]


Here's a video snippet of the Trump lawyer being laughed at for demanding witnesses come to his office in "philly-delphia."
posted by nobody at 9:12 AM on February 13 [16 favorites]


well played, both of you

*20 year lurk, when the gag landed*
posted by 20 year lurk at 9:15 AM on February 13 [21 favorites]


demanding witnesses come to his office

"God, grant me the confidence of a mediocre white dude"
posted by Nonsteroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drug at 9:17 AM on February 13 [14 favorites]




> Donald Trump was sicker than acknowledged with COVID-19

I totally believe this, but at the same time it doesn't change the fact that the night Trump's diagnosis was announced and he went to the hospital I had rarely been as sure of anything in my life as I was that he was gonna be just fine.
posted by The Card Cheat at 9:23 AM on February 13 [3 favorites]


this is going to be vicious - and meantime we have a crisis going on ...


When a situation is developing too quickly for the legislative branch to be part of the response, the executive gets carte blanche.

Now that the executive is Biden et al, I'm more than okay with this.
posted by ocschwar at 9:28 AM on February 13 [5 favorites]


Trump Considers Building His Own Social Media Site After Twitter Ban


He better be really picky to his site reliability engineers. And really prompt about paying them. Otherwise, "nice encryption keys you have here. Shame if something were to happen to them."
posted by ocschwar at 9:32 AM on February 13 [2 favorites]


In this when the real lawyering can begin? I am here for it.
posted by jasondigitized at 9:33 AM on February 13


Here's a video snippet of the Trump lawyer being laughed at for demanding witnesses come to his office in "philly-delphia."

Wow. That's amazing! I hadn't watched any of his previous performance, but he's acting like a cross between a toddler and a preschool teacher furiously scolding toddlers. I'm astonished that's real.
posted by trig at 9:35 AM on February 13 [1 favorite]


"Sen Ted Cruz (despite being a juror in this case) shares the advice he gave to Trump's lawyers: "What I started out saying...is I said, look, you gotta remember you've already won" -- Jason Campbell

What a sack of shit this guy is. And that he seems so comfortable fomenting insurrection is a direct insult to our democracy.
posted by valkane at 9:35 AM on February 13 [11 favorites]


Donald Trump was sicker than acknowledged with COVID-19

Don't forget that just two days before, Trump had been at the presidential debate where he spent 90 minutes sputtering and spitting and yelling at Joe Biden after refusing to take a coronavirus test as previously agreed to as a condition of the debate.

His family in attendance, including his wife who later also tested positive, all refused to wear masks as agreed to as a condition of the debate.
posted by JackFlash at 9:36 AM on February 13 [7 favorites]


At 16 minutes in, Van der Veen demands that any possible depositions take place in his office

Haven't been watching, but I backed up from that point a few minutes for context and...
If I'm in that room I'm thinking, don't tell me what's relevant and not relevant, fucko. This isn't a tort case with elements. "High crimes and misdemeanors" is anything I want it to be and what's "relevant" is anything I want to hear.

Van der Veen is trying to pretend it only counts if they can cosplay "court" closely enough, but only the way he likes, and the answer is no, and no.
posted by ctmf at 9:41 AM on February 13


As in, he wants it to be exactly like court, except only the parts that limit the prosecution, and none of the parts that require anything of the defense, and DEFINITELY not the part where the jury's decision has to be logical and based on the evidence presented.
posted by ctmf at 9:43 AM on February 13 [1 favorite]


I don't understand what advantage Van der Veen thinks he's getting when he starts channelling Sly Stallone. The vocal table-thumping is getting pretty tedious.
posted by flabdablet at 9:45 AM on February 13


Van der Veen: "Wait, where am I? This doesn't look like a courthouse... it's a lot bigger!"
posted by valkane at 9:46 AM on February 13 [1 favorite]


He's also now playing to the camera ("the American people") = Trump.
posted by mefireader at 9:46 AM on February 13


"Sen Ted Cruz (despite being a juror in this case) shares the advice he gave to Trump's lawyers: "What I started out saying...is I said, look, you gotta remember you've already won" -- Jason Campbell

Looking at that, I really understood why no-one likes Cruz.
posted by mumimor at 9:49 AM on February 13 [3 favorites]


Castor under his breath into the mic just now “ah, this is all fucked.”
posted by Room 101 at 9:50 AM on February 13


Room 101, did that happen, or is that a joke?
posted by meese at 9:52 AM on February 13 [1 favorite]


They shoulda called witnesses. This is bullshit.

"Senate Democrats folded. This is truly shameful. Schumer needs to step down as Democratic leader." -- Amy Siskind
posted by valkane at 9:53 AM on February 13 [4 favorites]


So no witnesses. What is this?
posted by jasondigitized at 9:53 AM on February 13


They all just want to go home for the weekend. America.
posted by valkane at 9:56 AM on February 13


I really want to understand why Republicans were so worried about witnesses. Wouldn't it be a huge win for them? Take up more time? Why would they be anxious to avoid witnesses?
posted by meese at 9:57 AM on February 13


look, you gotta remember you've already won

Which is true, as of the start time. But the whole point is to give Republicans enough overwhelming justification to vote for conviction. This is not to convince Rs he's guilty, it's to convince R voters they had no choice (so please don't hold it against them at the polls). As long as voters will crucify senators who vote yes, the vote is no.

The good news is, everyone I know who's watching says they're doing about a good a job at that as can be done. The bad news is, it might not be even possible to be good enough.
posted by ctmf at 9:58 AM on February 13 [1 favorite]


no one really wants witnesses - there's too much danger of a witch hunt for both sides
posted by pyramid termite at 9:59 AM on February 13 [2 favorites]


WTF? You give a Democrat a sword and they fall on it.
posted by valkane at 10:02 AM on February 13 [4 favorites]


Argh! How could it be that this time it was the House Managers who setup the football and then yanked it away?
posted by bcd at 10:05 AM on February 13


it's to convince R voters

Unfortunately, R voters are not watching. They will wait for Tucker Carlson to tell them what happened.

To be fair, I'm not either, but at least I have metafilter.
posted by ctmf at 10:05 AM on February 13 [2 favorites]


On the precipice of doing something with real teeth, the Dems once again are their own worst enemy. It's really quite pathetic.
posted by mcstayinskool at 10:07 AM on February 13 [5 favorites]


Really awesome that the people expected to save us from the death of democracy see working extra hours as a greater threat to the republic than the people who tried (and will gladly try again) to murder them en masse.
posted by Glegrinof the Pig-Man at 10:11 AM on February 13 [2 favorites]


There is obviously nothing that anyone could possibly ever say or do that will change the outcome of the trial. Get it over with and go back to confirming some appointees.
posted by Huffy Puffy at 10:12 AM on February 13 [19 favorites]


There is obviously nothing that anyone could possibly ever say or do that will change the outcome of the trial. Get it over with and go back to confirming some appointees.

I'm gonna use this to go to sleep tonight. Thanks Huffy Puffy.
posted by valkane at 10:14 AM on February 13


no one really wants witnesses - there's too much danger of a witch hunt for both sides

I assume there's an implicit scope restriction here, but just for the sake of screaming into the ether: I WANT WITNESSES.
posted by Jonathan Livengood at 10:14 AM on February 13 [7 favorites]


I am totally fine with letting the Senate get back to its core business as long as the DoJ gets going on its core business. McConnell says impeachment is just for removal from office and now that he's gone it's irrelevant. I agree.

Bring the man up on real federal charges instead of all this useless theater.
posted by dragstroke at 10:17 AM on February 13 [16 favorites]


Yeah, I wanted witnesses. Raising the possibility of calling them and then backing down when the GOP engages in the obvious from 100 miles away countermove is a dereliction of duty on the part of Democratic leadership. The outcome was basically certain, but the process matters in terms of how things are perceived by the public, and the process was shit once more than an ounce of courage was required of the party leaders.
posted by tonycpsu at 10:17 AM on February 13 [3 favorites]


I'm beginning to think the only thing between democracy and autocracy, between some notion of a shared reality and cynical fabrication is some really big lawsuits brought by private corporations. Sigh.
posted by zenzenobia at 10:18 AM on February 13 [3 favorites]


There is obviously nothing that anyone could possibly ever say or do that will change the outcome of the trial. Get it over with and go back to confirming some appointees.

A point that is immediately undermined by the fact that they're just going to pack up and go home instead of doing that.

Adam Serwer:
The Democrats have been more politically effective than I expected them to be over the past couple of years, but their responses to Trump have rarely matched the urgency or convictions of their rhetoric, which sends the public message that it is not to be taken seriously.

The purpose of Republican cynicism here is to diminish the significance of the mob’s attempt to violently overturn the election, and the Dems skittishness has a similar if unintended effect.
Brian Beutler is much more blunt:
The entire Republican Party was in a blind panic for an hour and Democrats’ first instinct was to be like “jk! we would never hurt you.”
posted by Glegrinof the Pig-Man at 10:20 AM on February 13 [22 favorites]


There is obviously nothing that anyone could possibly ever say or do that will change the outcome of the trial. Get it over with and go back to confirming some appointees.

The point wasn't to change the outcome of the trial. The point was to increase that migration of marginal R voters out of the party - which is definitely happening as state parties see their rolls shrink post-election/riot - by making the Republicans look shiftless and cowardly and weak and unprincipled.

You know what's going to happen now? Republicans are gonna go on Fox News and say "the Democrats didn't want to call witnesses because they knew Trump would be exonerated." A chance to demoralize the GOP will turn into an absolute rededication of the party towards insanity.

The Democrats - always willing to find a way to fail.
posted by mightygodking at 10:21 AM on February 13 [12 favorites]


I'm . . . not at all sure that ending the thing now without witnesses is the worst thing in the world. Of course it doesn't begin to approach justice, but any persuadable voters have seen enough (and there's plenty of material for future ads & soundbites for those who haven't paid much attention), we all know very few Trump/R voters are gonna get any of this except through the distorted filter of Fox News, and we know damn well there will NEVER be enough R Senate votes to convict.

So, yeah, letting this come to its inevitable end now and being able to move on to (as Huffy Puffy says) confirming appointees and especially COVID relief and vaccinations. Where the Republicans will be uncooperative and obstreperous.

IOW, we can drag this on letting Republicans shoot themselves in the foot over a topic that not all that many people care about and that will not end with the desired result, or we can move on to letting Republicans shoot themselves in the foot multiple times over topics that lots of people care about.
posted by soundguy99 at 10:23 AM on February 13 [11 favorites]


The democrats have put together a convincing show to date. As much as I think it would be entertaining to have witnesses, it is just going to create more diffusion of the message, and soundbites that the GOP can mine. And it won't change the actual votes. So, meh, let this be over.
posted by nanook at 10:25 AM on February 13 [9 favorites]


This leaves open Lindsay Graham's threat of witnesses being an unpleasant can of worms for Democrats.
posted by desuetude at 10:27 AM on February 13


Get it over with and go back to confirming some appointees

Josh "Raised Fist Salute" Hawley is the only senator to oppose every one of Biden’s Cabinet nominees to date - ‘He’s clearly laying groundwork’: Hawley paves 2024 path, Politico, Feb. 4. These people need to be shut out now.
posted by Iris Gambol at 10:27 AM on February 13 [6 favorites]


Raskin buried his son just the day before the lynch mob. By suicide, must be difficult to understand, maybe impossible, maybe you don't want to. I don't know how you move on, but we've all heard the story of Biden's loss, how he considered retiring from the senate just as he arrived.

Maybe that's what gives them purpose, Joe and Jamie. Some kind of strength. Raskin, just 45 days later, watch him work. I have deep respect for that guy.

Joe Neguse, under the radar, never heard of him. He's 36 years old, that's young to be where he is. Keep an eye on him. The DNC needs young blood, they're the future.
posted by adept256 at 10:27 AM on February 13 [17 favorites]


Every single person in the room is a witness. We are witnesses. Everyone knows what happened, and a majority of Americans know Trump incited the mob. The problem for everyone is that the Republican Party has tied itself to an ignorant racist minority. Witnesses won't change this. Calling your senators could have more effect.
posted by mumimor at 10:28 AM on February 13 [14 favorites]


Anytime someone tells me "I don't want to do the work" that makes the employee a suspect individual.
posted by valkane at 10:29 AM on February 13


Republicans play hardball, Democrats go home and tell their mom and dad they quit because they were going to lose anyway.
posted by The Card Cheat at 10:31 AM on February 13 [9 favorites]


Also worth noting that the Democrats have essentially made it open season on the residents and government of DC, who will now be forced into being a federal police state (with the police under the control of the Executive Branch) before even getting a chance to be an actual state.
posted by Glegrinof the Pig-Man at 10:32 AM on February 13 [2 favorites]


I don't understand how anyone can think that putting Kevin McCarthy under oath and having him deposed about that ridiculous phone call would be anything but horrible for the Republicans. Impeachment is a political action. So Dems, treat it like a political action, and inflict lasting damage.
posted by mcstayinskool at 10:33 AM on February 13 [9 favorites]


So, meh, let this be over.

Mehing only invites more right-wing domestic terrorism.
posted by They sucked his brains out! at 10:39 AM on February 13 [8 favorites]


I was just bragging earlier about how well the Democrats were doing and avoiding the whole "snatching defeat from the jaws of victory" and now this.
posted by valkane at 10:39 AM on February 13 [4 favorites]


Do Mike Lee's objections benefit the Republicans overall? Is his behavior something we should understand the rest of the Republicans supporting and egging on, or him just annoying absolutely everyone around him?
posted by meese at 10:44 AM on February 13


The cultists would drag all of America down to hell with them. Nothing will change their vote. Just end it, there's work to do.
posted by adept256 at 10:53 AM on February 13


Just end it, there's work to do.

They're putting off work for a week, so it seems actually doing the work is not really that important to them.
posted by Glegrinof the Pig-Man at 10:56 AM on February 13 [2 favorites]


Changing their vote ain't the only outcome. Dragging out Trump's ghastly indifference in front of voters and forcing Republicans to support it is absolutely worth it. Impeachment is a fundamentally political process, and not just for the person being impeached.
posted by Rhaomi at 10:57 AM on February 13 [24 favorites]


Utterly shameful. House managers did some incredible work and then...this. Shameful and pathetic. I am both incredibly disappointed and somehow not at all surprised that Schumer et al managed to fuck up this badly. You know it's bad when even Josh Marshall is flabbergasted by the incompetence.
posted by lazaruslong at 11:01 AM on February 13 [5 favorites]


“Destroy the GOP!” at a rally full of MAGA hats. Couldn’t see who was leading that chant but I really like that the House managers included that clip, just to expose Republican motivations.
posted by TWinbrook8 at 11:04 AM on February 13 [1 favorite]


The issue I am running into, with the call witnesses vs dragging it out/risk losing political capital, is there is a HUGE scandal and coverup going on with the Tuberville call that will now not be explored properly. If what is alleged is even half true, they (and the defense counsel) are in some serious shit. They need to be subpoenaed. This is unacceptable.
posted by andruwjones26 at 11:05 AM on February 13 [6 favorites]


The optics go from "Republicans own all this" to "Democrats caved" so quickly physicists were forced to conclude that somehow information can be transmitted faster than light.
posted by Your Childhood Pet Rock at 11:06 AM on February 13 [9 favorites]


++stunned.
posted by Dashy at 11:11 AM on February 13


I think the thing that's most utterly infuriating is that the reason Schumer did this is because McConnell threatened to hold up the agenda including the COVID relief bill by not allowing the Senate to consider other business while the trial was going on.

If someone threatens to hold up relief to the American public you CALL THEM ON THAT SHIT and plaster it on every billboard from DC to LA.
posted by Your Childhood Pet Rock at 11:15 AM on February 13 [17 favorites]


It's not gonna make a damn bit of difference, but I just sent Schumer an EXTREMELY pissed-off message for caving....
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 11:23 AM on February 13 [3 favorites]


In another timeline a month or six weeks from now, people here are yelling about how stupid it was for the Democrats to allow Trump's team to present an endless stream of witnesses who alternate between boring, damaging, and the endless repetition of the same old lies after McCarthy's testimony following more than a month of coordination with Trump and his various legal teams was a total nothingburger of nonrecollection and obvious but nonactionable lies.
posted by GCU Sweet and Full of Grace at 11:25 AM on February 13 [22 favorites]


I'm not normally a big one for memes or Twitter, but Alexandra Petri's meme game is on point.
posted by biogeo at 11:25 AM on February 13 [3 favorites]


“a Republic, if…”

I guess it's time to move to the else clause.
posted by Wrinkled Stumpskin at 11:28 AM on February 13 [1 favorite]


In another timeline a month or six weeks from now, people here are yelling about how stupid it was for the Democrats to allow Trump's team to present an endless stream of witnesses

Democrats would have had control over calling witnesses, although you may have a point that this level of incompetency might have resulted in the Democrats actually allowing hundreds of unrelated witnesses.
posted by Glegrinof the Pig-Man at 11:29 AM on February 13 [1 favorite]


Lindsey Graham voted for witnesses. Just think about what that means.
posted by adept256 at 11:32 AM on February 13 [5 favorites]


Calling witnesses is a lot bigger than whether or not it makes a difference in the Senate vote. It's a lot bigger than whether the testimonies amount to anything.

In part, it's about caring about and preserving the rule of law. It's about being careful and serious about the process. It's about setting a precedent that, at least when honest people control the process, we hear from God. Damn. Witnesses. in an impeachment trial. It's about being clearly and deeply and meaningfully different from the GOP.

This makes me sick.
posted by Jonathan Livengood at 11:34 AM on February 13 [10 favorites]


So, Rep Joe Neguse (D-Colorado) 2028?
posted by TWinbrook8 at 11:34 AM on February 13 [4 favorites]


Lindsey Graham voted for witnesses. Just think about what that means.

That nobody in the Dem leadership has ever played poker?
posted by Glegrinof the Pig-Man at 11:36 AM on February 13 [25 favorites]


Lindsey Graham voted for witnesses. Just think about what that means.

Graham changed his vote after it was clear that house managers had the votes they needed already. Graham only seeks to preserve his own power, will follow the wind whichever way it is blowing.
posted by lazaruslong at 11:41 AM on February 13 [3 favorites]


McConnell says impeachment is just for removal from office and now that he's gone it's irrelevant. I agree.

I emphatically disagree. Unconvicted, Trump retains all benefits that accrue to a former president. Secret service protection, pension benefits, intelligence briefings (should a future president be stupid/craven enough to seek his counsel), etc. Not to mention he remains eligible for future office.

Letting Trump go free causes significant, ongoing harm to the Republic.

Call witnesses. The Republicans are threatening to call everyone under the sun. Let them — if they can demonstrate relevance to the matter at hand. Irrelevant witnesses get barred before they even hit the stand (you can’t tell me they don’t have the votes). As of right now, the Democrats need exactly two witnesses - Tommy Tuberville and Kevin McCarthy. Ask them simple yes or no questions.

Don’t make this harder than it needs to be but don’t let the GOP hide behind bullshit excuses, either.

Play hardball. It’s what the fascists are doing.
posted by Big Al 8000 at 11:45 AM on February 13 [20 favorites]


From Luke Broadwater on the NY Times liveblog, the witness-calling discussion timeline:

"A Democratic source familiar relays the following about the back-and-forth over whether to call witnesses:

-The managers were arguing among themselves until 3 a.m. about what to do regarding reports of the Trump-McCarthy phone call.

-Schumer’s office communicated to the managers on Friday night and reiterated again early this morning that Senate Democrats would support whatever decision the managers made.

-Schumer told the Democratic caucus on a 9 a.m. conference call that the caucus should support whatever decision the managers make.

-At 9:55 a.m., five minutes before the Senate convened, the managers indicated to Senate Democrats that they wanted witnesses. Senate Democrats then voted for witnesses

-After the vote, it was clear the managers had “no plan” for the next steps.

-The managers decided to reach an agreement with Trump counsel to enter into the record the phone log from Senator Lee and Representative Herrera Beutler’s statement."

posted by mdonley at 11:49 AM on February 13 [5 favorites]


If impeaching Trump for inciting a deadly insurrection was a worthwhile endeavor (it was) then having a full trial with witnesses and using every legal tool to pursue all the information about what happened that day and who is responsible is required.

This half-ass bullshit is the worst possible outcome.

The only possible way to cushion the blow is to lean hard as fuck into the "Republicans are intransigent obstructionists, we need to get back to saving the country from COVID" narrative and get the fucking $2k stimulus checks that got us the Senate in the first place out the door along with the rest of the COVID relief measures.

Instead, they are taking next week off.

5,463 people die of COVID in the US yesterday. The 7 day average is currently 3,045. Around 27,000 people will die during the Senate's vacation. I am so fucking angry right now.
posted by lazaruslong at 11:51 AM on February 13 [35 favorites]


Jim Acosta, Twitter:
According to a source close to Trump legal team, the former president is pleased there won’t be witnesses at the trial.
The source added that the legal team views the democrats‘ decision to not call witnesses as a clear victory.
Okay I'm done for the day gonna go back to learning how to use scikit-learn and let my blood pressure normalize.
posted by lazaruslong at 11:58 AM on February 13 [7 favorites]


Last time the Senate under a new Dem trifecta went into recess following big, incomplete moves on a divisive issue, they were faced with raucous, angry, gun-toting hordes at home. Surely things will go better this time, right?
posted by Rhaomi at 11:58 AM on February 13 [3 favorites]


The lawyer is doing his job far better than Trump could have ever dreamed - Giving all the ammo the R Senators need to rebuke anyone who asks them why they backed the potential overthrow of the Capitol by a violent mob.

It's hard not to find it all wildly provocative and manipulative and craven. I hope his car breaks down on the way back to Philly.
posted by From Bklyn at 12:13 PM on February 13


listening to the defense's "closing remarks"

flames, flames, on the side of my face................
posted by The Shoodoonoof at 12:13 PM on February 13 [1 favorite]


I’m being petty, but Van der Veen is a terrible speaker. Mispronunciations, random pauses. He reminds me of a child who is just learning to read, stumbling through a read-aloud and unsure exactly how to get through each sentence.
posted by sucre at 12:14 PM on February 13 [1 favorite]


The Senate Is Making a Mockery of Itself
Not about today, but maybe explaining how today could happen
posted by mumimor at 12:22 PM on February 13 [2 favorites]


I’m being petty, but Van der Veen is a terrible speaker. Mispronunciations, random pauses.

I shouted at the TV when he said "malovent" - "it's malevolent you lying bastard"

(one of the many many many times I've shouted at it)
posted by The Shoodoonoof at 12:25 PM on February 13 [6 favorites]


> Trump Considers Building His Own Social Media Site After Twitter Ban

> He better be really picky to his site reliability engineers. And really prompt about paying them. Otherwise, "nice encryption keys you have here. Shame if something were to happen to them."

No devop is going to do that unless they want to screw themselves out of any future jobs. And in any event there's no shortage of technically competent true-believer magaheads out there to hire.

But on the other hand, have you ever heard of a site that stayed up after refusing to pay its hosting bill?
posted by at by at 12:37 PM on February 13


... and the vote seems about to begin. Everyone have a suitable beverage to hand?
posted by The Outsider at 12:38 PM on February 13 [2 favorites]


This sucks. Truly sucks. Let's mourn today, and be ready to fight again tomorrow.
posted by andruwjones26 at 12:41 PM on February 13 [1 favorite]


Yes, and the rag is securely stuffed into the neck of the bottle.
posted by delfin at 12:41 PM on February 13 [2 favorites]


I can't believe the Democrats decided to take the week off. I guess this National Security stuff is just too boring.
posted by valkane at 12:42 PM on February 13


The Democrats: When you're so committed to losing you have to weasel out of an accidental victory.

Fuck these people.
posted by Ray Walston, Luck Dragon at 12:44 PM on February 13 [2 favorites]


Grassley not guilty...I assume it's all but in the bag. It's like the real life dystopian version of being down 5 runs with 2 out in the ninth and still hoping you got a chance!
posted by andruwjones26 at 12:44 PM on February 13


Murkowski guilty!
posted by sucre at 12:46 PM on February 13


Rubio was the "deciding" vote.

All the R's who voted for constitutionality have voted guilty so far. And it won't mean jack shit.
posted by andruwjones26 at 12:48 PM on February 13


57 to convict but not enough
posted by TWinbrook8 at 12:49 PM on February 13


Murkowski guilty!

The moment I knew for sure "guilty" didn't have the votes.
posted by solotoro at 12:51 PM on February 13 [18 favorites]


I'm really disappointed at the decision to not call witnesses. It's not just the politics, it's not just the optics: we still don't really know what happened in the lead up to the insurrection.
posted by Joe in Australia at 12:51 PM on February 13 [4 favorites]


Well, all the same, Jamie Raskin, has my gratitude and respect.
posted by y2karl at 12:52 PM on February 13 [33 favorites]


kyrademon: If even 2 republicans vote to convict, it will be the most bipartisan conviction vote for on a presidential impeachment in U.S. history.
welp, I guess we did better than expected. Still a huge failure on the part of the Senate.
posted by Surely This at 12:55 PM on February 13 [1 favorite]


This country makes me sick.
posted by Your Childhood Pet Rock at 12:55 PM on February 13 [8 favorites]


As a Kentucky-born New Yorker, I am so ashamed of Chuck Schumer.
posted by valkane at 12:55 PM on February 13 [1 favorite]


And now we can look forward to Trump doing interviews on Fox News.
posted by valkane at 12:56 PM on February 13


Let's see Trump dodge New York and Georgia, the traitorous fuck.
posted by They sucked his brains out! at 12:58 PM on February 13 [7 favorites]


It's going to be fun watching Hawley vs Sasse in the 2024 primary.
posted by JackFlash at 12:59 PM on February 13 [1 favorite]


And with that, the Republican party has officially endorsed political violence to retain power.
posted by dirigibleman at 1:01 PM on February 13 [29 favorites]


In conclusion, if some future fascist wants to do what Trump did, the Greatest Deliberative Body in the World (citation very much needed) just decided that's ok-daddy-oh.

Good luck, Antifa. We're all counting on you.
posted by deeker at 1:01 PM on February 13 [3 favorites]


Trump has issued a 'letter' from Mar-a-Lago.
It reads, in part, "I'm rubber and you're glue! etc etc etc"

On the upside, now all the various state-level court cases get ramped up and hopefully, ... well - hope dies last.
Also on the upside Raskin's statements and Neguse's and Castro's. It is nice to hear intelligent discourse.

Personally I think they should have thrown more shame around (Trump owns you!) and then offered a way out (But vote him out and all is fogiven!). But
posted by From Bklyn at 1:02 PM on February 13 [1 favorite]


FYI Richard Burr was the only one to flip. Being one of the first senators to record their vote, no doubt he already had been assured the result was never in jeopardy.

(And Schumer's still talking, I'm glad he's such a strong and principled leader to keep fighting- oh you mean the room's empty? The Senate's been adjourned? No matter, might as well take advantage of the tv time!)
posted by andruwjones26 at 1:03 PM on February 13


Yeah, I'm really counting on Part II: Everybody comes at Trump.
posted by valkane at 1:03 PM on February 13 [2 favorites]


It's going to be fun watching Hawley vs Sasse in the 2024 primary.

They are going to have to run explicitly on fascism which will let America decide if that is what he majority wants though because the majority of the elected members of the Republican party have now condoned it. "Sanctioned the beating death of a capital police officer at Donald Trump's command" is going to be tough to shake off (I'm assuming 'attacked democracy' has less weight for them because I think Republicans have long been okay with attacks on democracy and others).

I'm not confident in how that plays out.
posted by srboisvert at 1:06 PM on February 13 [1 favorite]


Sounds like a good title for a megathread
posted by MtDewd at 1:06 PM on February 13


43 Republican Senators voted to protect the man who incited a mob to kill them. -- Jon Favreau
posted by valkane at 1:07 PM on February 13 [30 favorites]


They are going to have to run explicitly on fascism which will let America decide if that is what he majority wants though because the majority of the elected members of the Republican party have now condoned it. "Sanctioned the beating death of a capital police officer at Donald Trump's command" is going to be tough to shake off (I'm assuming 'attacked democracy' has less weight for them because I think Republicans have long been okay with attacks on democracy and others).

And on the other side, more than enough people are going to look at the performance of the Democratic Party, think "what's the fucking point" and let the fascists take the levers of power.

2022 is going to be a fucking electoral bloodbath.
posted by Your Childhood Pet Rock at 1:09 PM on February 13 [1 favorite]


It’s hard to believe that Donald J Trump will ever face any consequences.
posted by double bubble at 1:09 PM on February 13 [5 favorites]


Well, all the same, Jamie Raskin, has my gratitude and respect.

I live in his district, and people have put out yard signs thanking him.
posted by amarynth at 1:09 PM on February 13 [13 favorites]


Holy shit. Now McConnell is just rubbing their noses in it. lol.
posted by Ray Walston, Luck Dragon at 1:10 PM on February 13 [3 favorites]


It’s hard to believe that Donald J Trump will ever face any consequences.

To be fair, most powerful white men rarely do.
posted by Your Childhood Pet Rock at 1:10 PM on February 13 [9 favorites]


The R votes to convict were Burr and Toomey, both retiring, Romney and Sasse and Collins and Murkowski, on-brand, and, most surprisingly to me, Bill Cassidy, who seems to be doing some kind of honest-man schtick that might buy him a one-way ticket to wherever Bobby Jindal is these days. (He was re-elected this year, though, so he has some time to let things blow over.)

I'm a little bit disappointed in Richard Shelby and Rob Portman, who are also retiring, but, really, what's the difference between 57 and 59?
posted by box at 1:10 PM on February 13 [1 favorite]


McConnell just acknowledged that Trump is responsible for the attack on Congress...that he did all the things the house managers stated but I guess somehow it’s not technically impeachable.
posted by TWinbrook8 at 1:11 PM on February 13 [6 favorites]


"I'm sad. I'm so sad that a majority of Senate Republicans won't convict a President who incited an insurrection against their own house. I can't come to grips with the fact THEIR LIVES were threatened, police officers were maimed and murdered, and they refuse to disown this man." -- Amanda Carpenter
posted by valkane at 1:12 PM on February 13 [15 favorites]


Mitch can rot in hell. This is the most reprehensible speech he has ever given.
posted by double bubble at 1:13 PM on February 13 [10 favorites]


Holy shit. Now McConnell is just rubbing their noses in it. lol.

Not exactly, considering how he's excoriating Trump. That comes as a surprise to me.
posted by y2karl at 1:14 PM on February 13 [1 favorite]


The fucking NERVE.
posted by dorkydancer at 1:15 PM on February 13 [1 favorite]


Not exactly, considering how he's excoriating Trump. That comes as a surprise to me.

He just demonstrated that he still controls the Senate.
posted by Ray Walston, Luck Dragon at 1:15 PM on February 13 [8 favorites]


I’m just waiting for the other shoe to drop...
posted by TWinbrook8 at 1:17 PM on February 13


When's he gonna pivot...
posted by Don Pepino at 1:17 PM on February 13


I think I’m having a stroke. Surely.
posted by double bubble at 1:18 PM on February 13 [3 favorites]


If I were Mitch McConnell, I would never eat in a restaurant ever again.
posted by valkane at 1:19 PM on February 13 [17 favorites]


That timeline sure makes it seem like the Senate Dems did what they were supposed to and the House impeachment managers pulled the plug, which makes me not want to jump to simple explanations because Raskin and co have been doing everything else impeccably. That's a very weird last minute turnaround and I hope further reporting digs into just what the hell happened.
posted by jason_steakums at 1:19 PM on February 13 [5 favorites]


These gloating lawyers. Barf. (Watching live coverage on NYT)
posted by sucre at 1:20 PM on February 13


My thought is that a good lawyer never asks a question in court without knowing the answer first. This witness issue popped up at the last second and, without proper preparation, who knows where it would have led?
posted by SPrintF at 1:21 PM on February 13 [3 favorites]


Rand Paul aka Senator Hankey of Kentucky, on the other hand, has my complete disdain and disrespect -- I just read that he sat out the standing ovation for Officer Goodman. That is beneath contempt.
posted by y2karl at 1:22 PM on February 13 [23 favorites]


Have they tried to cash Trump's check yet?
posted by cenoxo at 1:22 PM on February 13 [2 favorites]


Is he saying trump should be tried in a court?
posted by double bubble at 1:25 PM on February 13 [1 favorite]


If I were Mitch McConnell, I would never eat in a restaurant ever again.
I've been thinking about this. I think most republicans in both houses should begin to bring a bagged lunch every day from now on. Or not.
posted by mumimor at 1:26 PM on February 13 [3 favorites]


"As McConnell is delivering this speech, Murkowski, Collins and Sasse are the only senators still in the chamber watching. All three voted to convict" -- Marianne LeVine
posted by valkane at 1:27 PM on February 13 [7 favorites]


"McConnell is saying Trump could be open to criminal prosecution for his actions, something Liz Cheney has also suggested. "We have a criminal justice system in this country. We have civil litigation. And former presidents are not immune from being accountable by either one" -- Kaitlann Collins
posted by valkane at 1:29 PM on February 13 [2 favorites]


Forgive me if this is a dumb question, I don't know much about civil law, but... could every Democratic rep and senator just sue him?
posted by rifflesby at 1:34 PM on February 13 [1 favorite]


Or how about a class action suit? The American People vs Donald Trump.
posted by double bubble at 1:35 PM on February 13 [4 favorites]


You know that if the justice system did investigate Trump, Mitch will be the first person on TV saying it's inappropriate and a witch hunt
posted by Ray Walston, Luck Dragon at 1:37 PM on February 13 [11 favorites]


Mitch is betting that this vote will become toxic, but also that he can retain leadership. -- Emptywheel
posted by valkane at 1:38 PM on February 13 [2 favorites]


There is literally nothing bad enough that a Republican can do that they will break the lockstep about.

So I've been busy all morning, I take it that the inevitable has occurred already.
posted by jenfullmoon at 1:40 PM on February 13 [1 favorite]


"Mitch applauded the Senate Republicans who backed Trump for avoiding a "political" process of persecution, but then called for Biden's DOJ to prosecute Trump, which will unleash howls of divisive outrage from those same Republicans when they run for office in 2022 & 24." -- Seth Cotlar

"Exactly. All McConnell cares about is power." -- Heather Cox Richardson
posted by valkane at 1:40 PM on February 13 [10 favorites]


"Shocking stat: 57 senators who voted to convict Trump represent 76.7 MILLION more Americans than 43 senators who voted to acquit" -- Ari Berman
posted by valkane at 1:44 PM on February 13 [38 favorites]


Shocking stat: 57 senators who voted to convict Trump represent 76.7 MILLION more Americans than 43 senators who voted to acquit

I don't know if the "shocking" is sarcasm or not, but that statistic itself is mindblowing. Wow.
posted by Snowishberlin at 1:47 PM on February 13 [2 favorites]


Hmm. Could senators and congressmen sue Trump for the 6th in their home states? That's a lot of venues Trump would have to worry about.
posted by ocschwar at 1:56 PM on February 13


Fuck the Republican party and fuck Mitch McConnell. I feel like devoting my life to the party's destruction. At the very least, asking the people who answer the phones in his office how they can work for an anti-Constitution politician in good conscience.
posted by rhizome at 2:03 PM on February 13 [16 favorites]


Nancy and her "yay us!" about Democrats is similarly nauseating.
posted by rhizome at 2:06 PM on February 13 [2 favorites]


What about the injured Capitol police, eg the guy who had his eye gouged and is now blind in that eye? He can call Mitch “Trump incited the mob to attack” McConnell as a witness.
posted by TWinbrook8 at 2:06 PM on February 13 [7 favorites]


The world is watching and you know they're waiting for us to comment on their political issues so they can justifiably call us hypocrites.
posted by tommasz at 2:07 PM on February 13 [2 favorites]


I can't wait to see what Trump says when he pops his head up in victory about an hour from now.
posted by rhizome at 2:09 PM on February 13


I too have been fantasizing of calling their offices and saying, "Hi, your boss's vote means he doesn't care about how you almost got murdered a month ago. You deserve better. Quit, while your resume isn't yet completely toxic."

I just don't have the verve you need for that kind of thing.
posted by meese at 2:10 PM on February 13 [4 favorites]


And of course Mitch is just acting as an attention/blame firewall for the rest of Republicans. He shouldn't be mentioned anymore.
posted by rhizome at 2:11 PM on February 13 [2 favorites]


Pelosi rules. "We censure people for using stationery for the wrong purpose; we don't censure people for inciting an insurrection that kills people in the capitol."
posted by Don Pepino at 2:17 PM on February 13 [19 favorites]


Shocking stat: 57 senators who voted to convict Trump represent 76.7 MILLION more Americans than 43 senators who voted to acquit

I don't know if the "shocking" is sarcasm or not, but that statistic itself is mindblowing. Wow.


Public Enemy and many rap artists have been saying it since the early 90s and it's becoming increasingly difficult to ignore the truth: We have an apartheid system in America, with the political, social, and economic structures set up to ensure cishet white dominance yesterday, today, and tomorrow.

I wish I could be hopeful that one day we'll fix this and have a Truth and Reconciliation Commission to address our treatment of BIPOC, LGBTQIA+ folks, religious minorities, and women, but it sure doesn't look like it from where I'm standing right now.
posted by lord_wolf at 2:25 PM on February 13 [21 favorites]


well, now we look forward to the day Trump finally becomes presi Individual One.
posted by adept256 at 2:31 PM on February 13 [2 favorites]


I don't see that there will ever be a TRC, at least not foreseeably, but what I think would be effective is deligitimizing white-power signifiers. Sleeping Giants is one way, going after sponsors of media, but also things like starting a petition to ban the Republican party from appearing on a state's ballots, which might not be successful but could get attention. Also, pushing back better on "reverse racism" bullshit and getting white people to say, "yes, it's because you're white." Start owning the criticism, which is always disingenuous and ownable.

I mean, how could Democrats put themselves in a worse, more powerless position than they already are? Maybe trying something different is in order. This was their chance to have some fangs, and while there have been good people with some good moments, it still leaves enough doubt possible (just like conspiracy theories leave enough truth possible) for Republicans to spit on the Constitution, and in their own names at that.
posted by rhizome at 2:32 PM on February 13 [2 favorites]


Mike de Bonis:

And there it is from @StaceyPlaskett -- the clearest explanation for why no witnesses: "Other individuals who may have been there with the president were not friendly...to us and would have required subpoenas and months of litigation."
posted by suburbanbeatnik at 2:36 PM on February 13 [18 favorites]


I agree. The in-power Democrats are pretty spineless and not very imaginative. I think it's time for a new generation of leaders, assuming the old (really old actually) ones ever give up their power.
posted by bluesky43 at 2:38 PM on February 13 [5 favorites]


And there it is from @StaceyPlaskett -- the clearest explanation for why no witnesses: "Other individuals who may have been there with the president were not friendly...to us and would have required subpoenas and months of litigation."
posted by suburbanbeatnik at 2:36 PM

well, ok. but wouldn't they have known that before they made this boneheaded move? and then looked super stupid/confused/weak when they didn't call witnesses? Did they not expect the vote to pass?
posted by bluesky43 at 2:40 PM on February 13 [1 favorite]


I suppose I can only hope that Trump won't be able to run in 2024 for other reasons. There are so many problems that are not just due to him but I just wanted some kind of security that he wouldn't be able to run. Certainly, he's a symptom and not the disease but there's a lot to be said about the cult of personality and for whatever reason, his particular personality seemed to appeal to an awful lot of people. You can't easily replace that. Not to say there won't be a future "charismatic" leader but I imagine the flavor will be different. There was something singular about Trump's whole style.
posted by NotTheRedBaron at 2:41 PM on February 13 [3 favorites]


Yeah, but Trump isn't going away especially now. And I'm a little tired of Democrats decrying the bankrupt GOP. The GOP seems to still have a lot of power for being morally bankrupt.
posted by bluesky43 at 2:43 PM on February 13 [2 favorites]


So, every 2-4 years we should expect insurrections when the vote doesn't go the way the violent people want ...? Because that's what the GOP just greenlit.

Incitement of violence, violent and lethal overthrow of government, state-approved lies and propaganda -- that's our future now.

Probably pogroms, too. As soon as they wedge themselves back into power (doesn't matter how) -- it doesn't stop with today.

I mean, some of them even had it on their shirts.

When someone tells you who they are: believe them.
posted by Dashy at 2:46 PM on February 13 [23 favorites]


Ari Berman
@AriBerman
Total asymmetric warfare: Republicans abuse power & make no apologies while Dems refuse to use power they have

/yes.
posted by bluesky43 at 2:49 PM on February 13 [15 favorites]


Since Trump remains eligible to run for office, that reduces the alternative avenues for power/safety/money he might seek. The cornered beast was just let out of the corner. He won’t try violent-er means or prop up puppets when he himself can regain the crown. Right? (Desperate for a silver lining here.)
posted by mahorn at 2:51 PM on February 13


Jonathan Alter
@jonathanalter
.
@RepSwalwell
saying on MSNBC that lots of potential witnesses declined to testify. This--and clear decision of Republicans to let Trump off on a technicality--explains why Raskin decided not to go for live witnesses. It also would have led to a 2-week recess that ended momentum.
posted by bluesky43 at 2:52 PM on February 13 [4 favorites]


I want a new, different country. The political system here is defunct. As much as people here deride both-sideism, it is both sides. I don’t have words to express how I feel about the right wing shits, but I do for the Democrats. Ineffectual, weak, pointless, etc. They’re made for each other, one evil as shit and the other willing to just roll over and take it. And this has been our reality for years. Today is nothing new. Tomorrow will be more of the same, since no one seems to have any real alternative to what this country has brought upon itself. I don’t have any answers and there are too many questions. I just hope that my six year friend isn’t going to face any political apocalypse in the coming years.
posted by njohnson23 at 2:54 PM on February 13 [8 favorites]


I know politics is a real factor, and that I am somewhat ignorant of the nuances of Political Science as a discipline, but "it's too inconvenient to call witnesses" is some bullshit. The country was almost stolen, you're damn right you tear into that as much as you can. The government is a car that blew a head gasket and Dems are like, "let's change the oil and see how it goes."
posted by rhizome at 3:04 PM on February 13 [2 favorites]


Time for a joint resolution of the senate and house saying that Trump's behavior has met the requirements for section 4 of the 14th amendment and hereby invoking it. That would only require 50.1% votes in both houses and bar Trump from office for life.

(I'm really disappointed that the senate didn't introduce one the moment the impeachment failed)
posted by mbo at 3:04 PM on February 13 [12 favorites]


I've said it before, and I'll say it again. The Constitution is very poorly written.
posted by mikelieman at 3:08 PM on February 13 [13 favorites]


... section 4 of the 14th amendment...
Do you mean section 3?
posted by MtDewd at 3:11 PM on February 13 [2 favorites]


"Trump has privately voiced concern about whether he could face charges related to the riot, multiple people say. While explaining his vote, McConnell said Trump was "practically & morally responsible" and that the legal process could address his role. Cheney has said similar." -- Kaitlan Collins
posted by valkane at 3:12 PM on February 13 [1 favorite]


Once impeachment is over, the threat to Trump shifts to real courtrooms -- WaPo

"Then there are the investigations into Trump’s personal business. In his testimony before Congress in 2019, Trump’s former personal attorney Michael Cohen suggested that the Trump Organization had been engaged in efforts to misstate the value of properties to reduce property tax obligations. That appears to have helped trigger more scrutiny for his former employer.

The office of New York Attorney General Letitia James (D) is engaged in a civil probe of the Trump Organization’s finances. That effort had a recent court victory, with the state’s Supreme Court ordering the Trump Organization to turn over tax documents. In New York City, the Manhattan district attorney is well into a criminal probe with the same focus. In December, the New York Times reported that this investigation had “intensified” following the election, though it “remains unclear whether the office of the Manhattan district attorney, Cyrus R. Vance Jr., will ultimately bring charges.”
posted by valkane at 3:14 PM on February 13 [4 favorites]


McConnell is a two-faced, lying, power hungry jerk and I would eat my hat if he or any Republicans did anything other than howl unfair if the Dems pursued legal avenues. Trump may hear from courageous people like the AG of Fulton County Georgia but the GOP will never do anything that is perceived as against their own interests, country be damned.
posted by bluesky43 at 3:15 PM on February 13 [9 favorites]


Next insurrection March 4th?
posted by adamvasco at 3:24 PM on February 13 [2 favorites]


I take heart that the GOP is clearly fracturing more and more severely.
posted by Sublimity at 3:25 PM on February 13 [8 favorites]


Next insurrection March 4th?

It's so weird seeing this date bandied about, because it's my birthday.
posted by valkane at 3:37 PM on February 13 [4 favorites]


The post mortem. House managers hold news conference following impeachment vote to acquit former Pres. Trump. (ABC video of the live event).
posted by bluesky43 at 3:44 PM on February 13 [1 favorite]


Democracy in action.
Senators voting to impeach represent 61.6% of Americans (202 million)
Senators voting to acquit represent 38.2% of Americans (125 million)
posted by adamvasco at 3:57 PM on February 13 [12 favorites]


"Next insurrection March 4th?"

I suppose it was inevitable that the QAnon cult would devolve to this.

"No but you see, I've redone my calculations and the end of the world inaugration is gonna be on this date!"

I genuinely hope for everyone's safety in DC on that day and the days following if there is actual noise of more violence. I'm not being pithy on the potential for violence but that the Q cult is still holding out some bizaare hope that Trump will still be inaugurated.
posted by NotTheRedBaron at 3:57 PM on February 13 [1 favorite]


We don’t use things once they’ve outlived their purpose. For the most part, when something new and better comes along, we switch to that. How many people use dirigibles for traveling? Who still uses a pager (aside from very specific jobs)?

Yet here we are with the senate, which was only ever a compromise to protect slave owners from having to face the will of the people. The main purpose was to convince a bunch of assholes that their right to keep human beings in slavery would be protected by the senate, a wall against any actual democracy.

It’s outlived it’s usefulness, unless it’s only continued use is allowing the spiritual descendants of slaveowners a respite from the population they rule. I’d say the senate should be abolished, but that’s the whole point of the senate: my voice doesn’t matter. It’s still fulfilling its purpose, I guess.
posted by Ghidorah at 3:58 PM on February 13 [20 favorites]


Hey, I hate this the same of all of us, but guys... We knew there'd be no conviction!

Today is still a victory, Georgia is blue, Biden and Harris are in charge. 2022 will be Republicans defeat.

Love and peace.
posted by kiwi-epitome at 4:07 PM on February 13 [39 favorites]


Don't let the doubleplusungood become the enemy of the ungood.
posted by y2karl at 4:10 PM on February 13 [6 favorites]


This is the beginning of understanding that the USA is an apartheid regime. I've been months, maybe years in acknowledging this. But hearing US representatives claiming that the USA is a beacon of democracy made me wretch. Sorry guys. Some of us who have failed before have got our act together now. You are the baddies.
I still trust there is a huge system upholding the basic structure of American democracy, but it is nothing near an example of governance.
posted by mumimor at 4:18 PM on February 13 [11 favorites]


2022 will be Republicans defeat.

I hope so but that is in no way a foregone conclustion. Democrats are terrible at rallying for midterms. Unfortunately, an awful lot of vigilance is needed just to keep the Dems in control of the Senate, let alone turn seats blue.
posted by NotTheRedBaron at 4:22 PM on February 13 [6 favorites]


Hey, I hate this the same of all of us, but guys... We knew there'd be no conviction!

Indeed. A poignant reminder as to why we got rid of the Megathreads, too.
posted by Ahmad Khani at 4:25 PM on February 13 [5 favorites]


Not all of us were so pessimistic to assume there would be no consequences (he has already been impeached, "convicted"). However, it becomes less possible when the case is half-stepped in prosecution.
posted by rhizome at 4:25 PM on February 13


At the risk of sounding like Pollyanna:

Isn't the lesson in 2020 that *WE the People* are the only ones we can count on? Impeachment 2019, Mueller's report, Epstein's arrest -- none of those things took down Trump. It was only enough people getting their butts to the polls and filling out the ballot that took down Trump. It was only a ton of hustling by organizers and volunteers that flipped Georgia.

Voters can punish the GOP.
posted by ichomp at 4:34 PM on February 13 [32 favorites]


And so the American experiment in democracy ended, not with a bang, but a whimper.
posted by dazed_one at 4:37 PM on February 13 [5 favorites]


Party before country.
That's pretty much textbook authoritarianism right there.
And, all the convulsive weaseling by GOP grandees to secure better positions for the next cycle of elections looks to me like 'If I have to be a full blown fascist to win, so be it.'

Looking at this from north of the border is pretty darn frightening.
posted by Phlegmco(tm) at 4:39 PM on February 13 [6 favorites]


To say nothing of the fact that any remaining moral high ground in the promotion of global democratic ideals the US had has been razed.
posted by dazed_one at 4:42 PM on February 13 [5 favorites]


Who is declaring this an actual line in the sand for anything? We knew the Republicans were totally fine with treason and destroying democracy, what do you think disenfranchisement is? This is just made it more stark that Republicans are willing to stand up for a sociopath capable of killing his VP and gloating about it. It's a lot more clear now than it was four years ago what the Republicans actually stand for, even to people who don't follow politics all that much. If you're still a Trumper you're okay with fascists hanging people. Hopefully the rest of the USA realize what a threat all his supporters remain.
posted by benzenedream at 4:49 PM on February 13 [18 favorites]


The failure to convict is the Republican party's moral failing. Witnesses would not have changed that. If calling witnesses could change the views of Republican voters quickly and loudly enough to change their conviction votes, we wouldn't have this problem in the first place because they'd have been susceptible to having their views changed long before now...

The Dem failure here was a failure to put more on the official record, really. And that's super important, it really is. I wish they'd have done that differently, they did great work right up until that moment. And the weird last minute stumbling by the House impeachment managers was a political failure (that most voters won't really remember in a week but it's demoralizing to the base), but it would not have changed anything about the GOP's immoral behavior.

I'm sick of feeling like we have to carry the sins of the GOP. It's uncannily like a certain mindset a victim of abuse can get into... oh, we have to manage their behavior by making the exact right moves. Ugh.

They always would have accepted a coup by their own. Always. That's on them. At least they can't hide it as easily now.
posted by jason_steakums at 4:53 PM on February 13 [38 favorites]


The whole procedure was Penn Gillette with the nail gun. It looked realistically dangerous, and even though there were those fun asides about Calvary and the First Amendment to show that it wasn't, people's brains latch on the the set dressing and props and treat it like a trial. It would go against all ethical principles to actually put a President in jeopardy over a constitutional matter, and everyone, including mefites, knew that going in.

And yet, it looked like a real trial, and it's hard not to respond to that, even if we could all have marked "acquittal" in the calendar a week in advance.
posted by Wrinkled Stumpskin at 5:13 PM on February 13 [1 favorite]


The handful of Republicans who voted to convict should change their party affiliation, even the ones about to retire.
Now that the GOP has publicly stated that "bipartisanship" is dead and buried, ramp up the executive orders. No concessions, no deals, no pet projects. Primary every Republican, everywhere; this vote to acquit festoons each and every appropriate neck from now until the heat death of the universe. They voted in support of treason and cop-killing.
Drive them out of office into lobbying, and then ignore them there, too.
Make whatever Trump promised them (not founding his own political party, probably) immaterial. These people have no political futures, only shame-filled pasts.
posted by Iris Gambol at 5:45 PM on February 13 [16 favorites]


A shame-filled past seems to be the main qualification for a Trumpublican party candidate.
posted by Pouteria at 5:54 PM on February 13 [5 favorites]


Andy Kim
@AndyKimNJ
For anyone who wants to thank
@jamie_raskin
for defending our democracy, please consider donating to his family’s fund to honor the passing of his son last month. He didn’t even have time to mourn properly before he stepped up for our nation. https://cfncr.wufoo.com/forms/md97cda02bk1ut/
6:58 PM · Feb 13, 2021
posted by bluesky43 at 6:00 PM on February 13 [37 favorites]



A shame-filled past seems to be the main qualification for a Trumpublican party candidate.

There is something to this. The born-again movement has a lot in common with the Trumpian movement. I am not educated enough in anything other than vintage Trans Ams but I can see that there is a sort of iceberg like shape under the water of both trump and some strains of born again, where a shameful past because not a reason to make amends or help others, but a axe to grind against other people from a place of righteousness.
posted by chaz at 6:07 PM on February 13 [9 favorites]


Democracy in action.
Senators voting to impeach represent 61.6% of Americans (202 million)
Senators voting to acquit represent 38.2% of Americans (125 million)
posted by


And 57% of senators voted to convict while 43% voted to acquit. It's pretty close to the population number so I am not sure what that is supposed to prove. The Senate is an incredibly undemocratic institution but this is not why
posted by nolnacs at 6:45 PM on February 13 [3 favorites]


I've said it before, and I'll say it again. The Constitution is very poorly written.

It is excellently written if you are a rich, land owning, white, male with political power. Not much surprise since that's who wrote the thing.
posted by Mitheral at 7:25 PM on February 13 [15 favorites]


The Senate is an incredibly undemocratic institution but this is not why

Correct. But I’m fairly certain that’s getting it backwards. Rather, because the Senate is undemocratic — both in representation and some of the rules that govern the body — we get these outcomes.
posted by orange ball at 7:28 PM on February 13 [4 favorites]


John Gruber is right to quote Mark Twain: we celebrate physical courage, but minimize moral courage. This doesn't say much good about humanity.
posted by They sucked his brains out! at 7:51 PM on February 13 [5 favorites]


MetaFilter: This doesn't say much good about humanity.
posted by valkane at 9:37 PM on February 13 [4 favorites]


Somehow I'm always reminded of the Seinfeld Cookie Crisp bit by these Republicans.
Cookie Crisp this is a cereal that, it’s not like cookies, it IS cookies. This is your breakfast, a bowl of chocolate chip cookies. They said, "Just make it cookies."

Why don't we call this product “The Hell with Everything.”

Ice cream for lunch, cake for dinner, bacon and cigarettes in between.

This is the Cookie Crisp Total Health Plan.
They're like, "just make it sedition." This is your president; a seditious morally bankrupt loser incapable of facing consequences. Why don't we call this justice system The Hell With Everything.
posted by petebest at 9:48 PM on February 13 [12 favorites]


i watched every minute until about half-way through closing arguments, when i got to chip the ice off the car and drive over some other ice to spend the day with little lurk (got to hear much of house managers' closing in the car). i haven't listened to defense's closing or the vote or the epilogue, except insofar as it was reproduced above, and don't have the spirit for it now.

it was magnificent work by the impeachment managers. they created a thorough (insofar as the current state of many layers of ongoing investigation have so far revealed) and compelling historical document, convincing several members of a hostile bloc to break with party discipline and support conviction. that conviction was not attained is no surprise, and why would it be with every reputable journalistic outfit having repeated at every opportunity that it was hopeless to try moving members of that hostile bloc, with that hostile bloc cowed to or owned by their demagogue, terrified of his partisans in the general public and less reputable albeit virulently influential quasijournalistic outfits, and more committed to partisan rivalry -- and the pointless and petty point-scoring that involves -- than their ostensible duty as jurors, senators or policy-makers, not to mention we, more or less nominally on their side, who expect them to fail at everything and stand ready to berate them for it each time? it is uncharitable, at best, to construe today's brief, titillating excitement as the house managers snatching defeat from the jaws of victory.

mad props to raskin, neguse, cicilline, lieu, degette, castro, swalwell, plaskett, and dean! wow. they did amazing work this week and in the few preceding.

neverending contempt for and disgust at mcconnell, thune, barrasso, blunt, ernst, scott, lee, crapo, grassley, shelby, tuberville, sullivan, boozman, cotton, rubio, scott, risch, young, braun, moran, marshall, paul, kennedy, wicker, hyde-smith, hawley, daines, fischer, tillis, hoeven, cramer, portman, inhofe, lankford, graham, scott, rounds, blackburn, hagerty, cornyn, cruz, capito, johnson, and lummis, and grudging, absolutely minimal nod for their votes to convict to cassidy, murkowski, romney, burr, sasse, collins, and toomey, who, with the balance of their party, conspired callously to permit some portion of 485,200 americans to die -- in one goddamn year -- by declining to convict that despot and would-be tyrant last year (only marshall and lummis, of that list, have joined the senate since) and blocking apparently-serious efforts at congressional effort to address covid in the interim. several of them are outright traitors, directly complicit with the mob that sacked their workplace and demagogue who directed them; the rest just ceded the republic to, and aspire to be, that next demagogue. they were just fine with everything that guy did before january sixth and they are fine with january sixth too. i hope to live long enough and travel far enough to micturate over all their graves.

it is deeply, deeply disappointing that evidence, argument, reasoning and rhetoric such as that marshaled and presented by the managers should, superficially, appear to have lost to the cavils, conceits, and spurious posturing of schoen (of the calvary canard and like falsehoods), van der veen (whose ignorance, disrespect for the chamber -- which, in fairness, may not in actuality merit it as it does in ceremony and symbolism -- failure to language, evidently-willful misunderstanding of the law and precedent, misrepresentations, contemptible false equivalencies, and kavanaughian scowl merit the full measure of malice i can conjure and more) and cohen (who may have been merely inept, but was apparently the most human among them, notwithstanding his flailing, inchoate effort to call down the famous whirlwind). fuck. the managers did not lose to those charlatans because they could not have won against that party-over-country jury.

recall, though, that the defense's strongest argument, made explicitly by schoen and van der veen, and maybe implicitly among the ramblings of cohen -- hard to be sure -- was that the former president should face a real criminal trial, with real due process and real representation of counsel and evidence collected by investigators and real witnesses, before a real jury, (not to concede any of their points concerning constitutionality, process or law), and the senate minority leader, echoing other party leadership, said the same. i don't know that this is a good use of the current president's political capital, but understand that a properly independent department of justice could reach that decision on its own.

during the witness imbroglio this morning van der veen threatened he'd subpoena everybody and aspire to investigate to the full breadth of scope of the 9/11 commission investigation, which lasted almost two years. and, he wasn't right, then, at that moment. but the events of and leading up to 1/6 do merit an investigation of such breadth, as does the country's reaction to and management of covid. maybe we can get it.

anyway, as i say at the culmination of each new crisis, thanks, MetaFilter, for being here to keep me informed, share the suffering, offer some humor and perhaps find some hope or practical steps to lead toward hope: i'm not glad that we've been going through this, but, going through this, i'm glad you've been here with me and to have been here with you!
posted by 20 year lurk at 10:07 PM on February 13 [30 favorites]


Metafilter: thanks, MetaFilter.
posted by valkane at 10:30 PM on February 13 [9 favorites]



... section 4 of the 14th amendment...
MtDewd: Do you mean section 3?


yes I did ... typo fingers
posted by mbo at 10:56 PM on February 13


So... when are they going to nuke the filibuster? Seems like a pretty good way to fuck that shameless shitstain McConnell.
posted by like_neon at 12:02 AM on February 14 [5 favorites]


The Democrats: When you're so committed to losing you have to weasel out of an accidental victory.

As others have noted, there was never ever ever going to be a victory. We didn’t get everything we wanted on the record, but we got a lot, and people are still dying from Covid and we still need to take care of getting the economy in a stronger place.

Yes, the filibuster has got to go. I encourage fellow California voters to call, fax, send carrier pigeons, whatever to their senators, particularly Diane Feinstein who is reportedly in favor of keeping the filibuster and who shouldn’t be in office at all. She might be spooked enough about her future to agree to vote against it. getting rid of the filibuster is the only chance we have to accomplish anything worthwhile and to keep the White House for more than four years. So everybody, please make your voices heard and please ask other people to do the same. The filibuster has got to die, it’s our only hope. Thank you.
posted by Bella Donna at 3:13 AM on February 14 [19 favorites]


At least 6 people guarding Roger Stone were later found inside the Capitol [NYT] . If they prove conspiracy here, will Trump’s pardon still protect Stone? It sure looks more and more like this is why he got his last-minute pardon.
posted by Mchelly at 4:47 AM on February 14 [12 favorites]


Trump’s pardon was for a specific crimes that Stone had already been convicted of so no future criminal behavior isn’t covered.
posted by rdr at 5:26 AM on February 14 [7 favorites]


Democrats are terrible at rallying for midterms.

This is no longer true. 2018 was huge for Democrats. We are fucking activated. Fuck the right wing, fuck the Republicans, fuck them all to hell. That vote is getting the fuck out.
posted by ishmael at 7:29 AM on February 14 [27 favorites]


WaPo: Late-night talks and a moment of chaos: Inside the Democrats’ eleventh-hour decision to forgo impeachment witnesses

We often lament the media's love of "Dems in disarray" stories, but when the Dems actually are in disarray, well, it isn't really the media's fault for covering it.

Most of the material here is stuff we already knew, but the last few paragraphs make it clear how dedicated Senate Democrats were to a just outcome:
Frustrations rose among Senate Democrats. One Democrat familiar with the internal discussions said “it was clear the managers had no plan” and “didn’t know what their next step was.”

Sen. Christopher A. Coons (D-Del.), a close ally of President Biden’s, visited the managers’ room off the Senate floor, according to a House aide. He told the managers any delay would cost Republican votes to convict — and potentially Democratic votes, too.

“The jury is ready to vote,” he told them. “People want to get home for Valentine’s Day.”

Jonathan Kott, a spokesman for Coons, said the senator “was simply conveying to the House managers that several of his Republican colleagues told him there were no more votes on their side and their members were ready to fly home.”

Coons urged them to accept an emerging deal — introduce Herrera Beutler’s written statement into the trial record and move on with closing arguments, sidestepping any further debate over witnesses.

Less than two hours after the witness vote, Raskin returned to the floor and read Herrera Beutler’s statement out loud. “Mr. President, we have no further motions,” he said at 12:52 p.m.

Three hours later, Trump was acquitted.
Senate delenda est.
posted by tonycpsu at 7:49 AM on February 14 [7 favorites]


Next insurrection March 4th?

It's so weird seeing this date bandied about, because it's my birthday.


Brandingwise, it’s a good choice to schedule what they hope will be a popular uprising: it’s the one calendar date that is a homophone of a clear order — march forth.
posted by ricochet biscuit at 8:05 AM on February 14 [7 favorites]


I can understand the practical side of "He's still going to be acquitted and we have bunch of other stuff to do, let's move on."

But now I expect a lot of stuff to be done. A week long recess for President's Day is not meeting those expectations.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 8:21 AM on February 14 [23 favorites]


I have a hard time understanding people who are apparently more upset at the Democratic managers, who had an impossible task, than they are at the Republicans who made the task impossible. Does anybody think weeks of wrangling over witnesses would have changed a single Republican vote, much less another 10?

As for going into recess rather than immediately turning to other urgent business, I imagine they and their staffs have been working at peak intensity and stress since Jan. 6, and even prior. They're only human and while their work is urgent, it isn't going to yield immediate results in regards to the pandemic, racism in America, or the climate crisis, however they are probably as exhausted as people in their positions can be.

The Democrats aren't perfect, but they gave it their best shot under the circumstances. Lay the blame where it belongs, on the Republicans. Give the decent people a chance to recover and get back to work setting things right.
posted by Reverend John at 8:36 AM on February 14 [45 favorites]


I have a hard time understanding people who are apparently more upset at the Democratic managers who had an impossible task, than they are at the Republicans who made the task impossible. Does anybody think weeks of wrangling over witnesses would have changed a single Republican vote, much less another 10?

I've been thinking about this because I am one of those ... kind of. I'm vocally upset with the Democrats because I have no influence with the Republicans. The Republicans are my enemies, not my friends. I'm upset with my friends because they didn't do what they could to oppose our enemies. I'm not sure it comes to the level of betrayal, but if not, it's pretty close.

I really don't know whether several weeks of witnesses and investigation and evidence would have moved popular opinion and hence had influence on Republican senators. I tend to think it wouldn't, but I'm not confident one way or the other. And I don't think anyone else can really know. What would be the effect of a month or two of impeachment trial with increasing media attention? What would be the effect of compelled testimonies? The problem is that now we will never know.

Anyway, this isn't a very well-thought-out comment, I'm sure. I'm still trying to understand my own view here.
posted by Jonathan Livengood at 8:49 AM on February 14 [8 favorites]


What would be the effect of a month or two of impeachment trial with increasing media attention? What would be the effect of compelled testimonies? The problem is that now we will never know.

Wayne Gretzky famously said, "You miss 100% of the shots you don't take."
posted by ricochet biscuit at 8:52 AM on February 14 [8 favorites]


What would be the effect of a month or two of impeachment trial with increasing media attention? What would be the effect of compelled testimonies? The problem is that now we will never know.

I don’t see it as them not taking a shot. Remember how Republicans negotiated in bad faith for MONTHS with Obama and he still did not get the votes he was looking for.

Yes, the optics for Dems right now is bad. But I can’t think of anything worse than letting the trial take up all oxygen for months and STILL failing to convict Trump.
posted by ichomp at 9:16 AM on February 14 [16 favorites]


I have a hard time understanding people who are apparently more upset at the Democratic managers, who had an impossible task, than they are at the Republicans

I think the central point of all of the Democrats' failures, since at least '08 (and honestly, you can roll that back to Gingrich in '94 and even Reagan in '80) is that when your opposing party is not operating in good faith AND the mainstream media is committed to a 'both-sides' style of reporting, you're in a bad position and likely to fail no matter what you do.

Anyone who has been in a toxic work environment, a toxic relationship, or even bullied in school as a kid, can recognize these dynamics. The constant lying, gaslighting, shameless hypocrisy is awful and what makes it worse is that outsiders/bystanders either don't see it or tacitly choose to indulge in it along with the bully/abuser.

When we find our friends and family in these situations, we counsel them to leave. When I've been in these situations in my life, the only way I've managed to deal with it constructively is to leave. But Democrats don't have the option to leave. They have to keep trying, time after time, to find just the right words, just the right strategy, to get the abuser to see the error of their ways, or to beat them tactically at a game that is impossible to win if the other side is playing in bad faith.
posted by notswedish at 9:21 AM on February 14 [22 favorites]


You usually only get one chance to set the record in the history books. The managers did a lot of work, but time will tell if it was enough.

There are other avenues still open for bringing Trump to face justice, and there are still ways to make Dems accountable for the power that they do have.

Getting rid of the filibuster, granting PR and DC statehood, reestablishing balance at all levels of the federal courts — these are things that can help undo Trump's legacy and help protect the country from his voters.
posted by They sucked his brains out! at 9:22 AM on February 14 [5 favorites]




The Beauty of Jamie Raskin’s America, on Display at Trump’s Impeachment Trial
By Bill McKibben (New Yorker
).
...
He noted that democracy—government of, by, and for the people—is the exception on this planet, and always has been. Ours, of course, was utterly imperfect from the start, and utterly imperfect it remains: a “slave republic,” as Raskin put it, that is still a place where George Floyd can be murdered by authorities in broad daylight. But the basic insight of the Founders, the idea that “all men are created equal,” had, Raskin insisted, allowed us to unleash “waves of political struggle and constitutional change and transformation,” so that we could become “the world’s greatest multiracial, multireligious, multiethnic constitutional democracy, the envy of the world.” These Founders had, at the start, one great fear, he said, “Presidents becoming tyrants and wanting to become kings.” That’s why, he explained, they wrote the oath of office into Article II of the Constitution, with its pointed insistence that the President’s job is to uphold and defend that very document.
...
On Thursday, Raskin, arguing gamely for a conviction that everyone knows he cannot win, had to pretend that his audience of senators shared his assumptions about democracy. But, of course, many of them didn’t—many had truckled to Trump precisely in order to maintain position and privilege. Is there anyone who thinks that a 1776 version of Lindsey Graham would have been fighting alongside Sam Adams and Tom Paine? It’s much easier to imagine him as a bewigged and bewildered gent ordering the servants to pack the household baggage for the move back to London with the other Tories. That members of the party that licked Trump’s spittle called themselves “Republicans” and pretended their subservience was somehow an attack on “élites” is a reminder of the power of the idea that they have done their best to wreck.
...
One has to stand up to that privilege and rank and vested interest constantly, so Raskin’s case was made for history—a case against Trump, and the next Trump, and the Trump after that, if we’re lucky enough to endure as a country to see those challenges. And, if we are that lucky, it will be because new generations of Raskins will keep standing up to power, very much in the progressive tradition that goes back to our founding. American history is full of ugliness, but there is beauty at its core, as well, and that was what illuminated this week’s proceedings.
posted by bluesky43 at 9:50 AM on February 14 [19 favorites]


I had a quick look to see how the votes fell in terms of whether both senators for a state voted to convict or acquit, or if there was a split.

Both to Convict
Arizona, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Georgia, Hawaii, Illinois, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont, Virginia, Washington

Split
Alaska, Louisiana, Montana, Nebraska, North Carolina, Ohio, Utah, West Virginia, Wisconsin

Both to Acquit
Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Idaho, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Mississippi, Missouri, North Dakota, Oklahoma, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Wyoming

For my part, as and when travel restrictions permit me to consider trips to the US again, one of the factors likely to weigh heavily against going to a particular state is if it represented by two senators both willing to turn a blind eye to, or outright support, Trump's encouragement of an attempted coup.
posted by Major Clanger at 10:04 AM on February 14 [14 favorites]


Progressive PAC kick-starts search for challengers to Manchin, Sinema (Politico, Feb. 2) Manchin and Sinema’s opposition to eliminating the legislative filibuster — which requires a 60-vote threshold for most legislation — is the main reason No Excuses is putting a call out for possible challengers. Progressives have increasingly pressed Senate Democrats and President Joe Biden to end the filibuster, arguing that in an evenly divided Senate it will be nearly impossible to find enough Republicans to pass major pieces of Biden’s agenda.

The strategists behind ‘the Squad’ launch PAC to push progressive agenda in Congress (Yahoo News, Feb. 10, bewilderingly filed under "sports") On Feb. 2, a group called No Excuses PAC announced plans to challenge Arizona Sen. Kyrsten Sinema, and West Virginia Sen. Joe Manchin, two of the more moderate members of the Democratic caucus. The effort is, in part, designed to push Senate Democrats to override Republicans and pursue larger economic relief packages amid the coronavirus pandemic.[...] No Excuses PAC is also trying to recruit candidates to run against Manchin and Sinema, who are both up for reelection in 2024. The attempt to take on Manchin and Sinema is just one of several projects the trio has underway.

The goal is to create organizations designed to advance a progressive agenda akin to the constellation of think tanks, media organizations and advocacy groups that have long pushed for centrist and conservative policies in Washington. Their work provides an early glimpse into the opportunities — and challenges — for progressives as they navigate Biden’s Washington.
posted by Iris Gambol at 10:07 AM on February 14 [11 favorites]


Progressive PAC kick-starts search for challengers to Manchin, Sinema

I don't know about Sinema, maybe there is a chance there. But this is just crazy to primary Manchin.

As much as everyone loves to hate him, Manchin is a political genius. He has been reliably re-elected as a Democrat consistently in the reddest state in the union next to Wyoming. Trump got 70% of the vote in West Virginia! Manchin has voted twice to impeach the man who beat Biden by 40 points in his state! And he is still going to get re-elected.

If you get rid of Manchin, you have kissed off West Virginia for a very long, long time. Manchin is the only reason that Schumer is Majority Leader instead of McConnell and that Harris gets a tie-breaking vote.

If you primary Manchin be very careful what you wish for. Democrats tried to primary Joe Lieberman and for their efforts all they got was Lieberman single-handedly vetoing the public option for heathcare, which folks have been bitching about for the last 10 years.

Effort would be better spent figuring how Manchin accomplished what Democrats couldn't in Montana or Maine or Iowa.
posted by JackFlash at 11:01 AM on February 14 [28 favorites]


I don't know; I've come around to thinking it actually helps Manchin to primary him from the left. He wins the primary anyway, and looks conservative enough to appeal to the overwhelming majority of West Virginians.
posted by Huffy Puffy at 11:06 AM on February 14 [5 favorites]


Both of Indiana's senators voted to acquit the guy who targeted their crown Pence for murder.
--

I posted yesterday that I was stunned. I legit was, it felt like a gut punch of spiking the ball.

After thinking, I've come around to agreeing with the managers, and even recognizing that they likely thought out this possibility and recognized the ensuing outcome. Months of legal wrangling over subpoenas would just be wrestling with a pig. Some would still lie under oath, then we'd have to chase that down, wrestle with those piglets. It would give more airtime to the swamp monsters. And it would give McC leverage to hold up Biden's agenda.

The managers really made the best case they could, brilliantly so, and wrote it into the history books. That was the point. Hoping for a conviction was a naive pipe dream, no matter what.

Now let's wipe T off the screen and the headlines, again, and get on with confirming Garland, who will go after the white supremacists.
posted by Dashy at 11:10 AM on February 14 [9 favorites]


Wayne Gretzky famously said, "You miss 100% of the shots you don't take."

He also didn't take a lot of shots from center ice.
posted by ChurchHatesTucker at 11:16 AM on February 14 [30 favorites]


I can't speak for anyone else upset with the Democrats, but my reason is simple and it's basically the same thing I've been objecting to for basically my entire politically aware life:

The Democrats had an unprecedented PR opportunity and instead of taking it and getting maximum benefit from it they turned it into a dry legalistic proceeding that meant exactly nothing.

Trump was never going to be convicted, and what just happened wasn't a trial. Despite the pseudo-legalistic trappings the trial phase of impeachment is an entirely political exercise. It literally doesn't matter how good a legal case the Democrats made, the actual outcome was foreordained and there was nothing at all they could do to change that.

Meaning that the potential benefit from this is entirely PR.

The question was not "can the Democrats made a good legal case and get Trump convicted?" The answer there is no. We knew that from the beginning.

The question, in my mind, was "can the Democrats milk the fuck out of this for all the publicity and ad campaign fodder they can get?"

And the answer to that was hell yes. This was a golden opportunity and any politician who wants to win would be slavering at the chance to juxtapose tearful, frightened, witness testimony with images of Republicans acting bored or voting to acquit.

Then, even better, the Republicans told everyone they were terrified of witnesses. They made multiple threats that if the Democrats called witnesses they would retaliate. It was a chance for the Democrats to stand firm, and in the process gain massive advantage in the upcoming 2022 elections.

Instead they did what they always do. They surrendered.

They decided to pretend this was a real trial, where evidence matters, and not the best PR opportunity in the last twenty years.

Worse, they decided to prove in the most visible and publicized way possible, that when the Republicans make threats the Democrats kneel down and surrender.

So that's why I'm enraged.

The Democrats, yet again, valiantly snatched defeat from the jaws of victory. They took a potential gain and turned it into a massive loss. They demoralized and dispirited their voters, they proved to non-voters that the Democrats were cheap cowards without the slightest will to fight, and they let a priceless opportunity to inflict major PR damage on the Republicans pass them by.

The fact that we'd lose the conviction was preordained. The fact that we'd lose the PR battle was not. I see it as yet more proof that the Democratic leadership is composed of pathetic cowards who will never fight for me. They're still acting like it's 1980 and they have to cower in fear of Reagan.
posted by sotonohito at 11:43 AM on February 14 [13 favorites]


The Democrats are just not cut out to fight against the evil lockstep of the Republican party. Period. They cannot do it. As a unit, they are not that much of a unit. They are not all that fierce. This is why I constantly think "Evil will always triumph because good is dumb."
posted by jenfullmoon at 11:51 AM on February 14 [5 favorites]


If you're complaint is basically, "the Democrats aren't the Republicans," then my response is good!
posted by SPrintF at 11:58 AM on February 14 [4 favorites]


Yeah ... that's not the complaint. Like, at all. And it's very uncharitable to read it that way.
posted by Jonathan Livengood at 12:00 PM on February 14 [7 favorites]


/This is why I constantly think "Evil will always triumph because good is dumb."


It's a lot easier to do evil than to do good in this country.
posted by ichomp at 12:00 PM on February 14 [1 favorite]


Passing covid relief will do more to damage Trumpism than five weeks of witnesses. Who at this point is going to have their mind changed by testimony of a policeman who got his eye gouged out? It would be so emotionally satisfying to watch the Republicans squirm but I don't know if it'll do anything politically.
posted by benzenedream at 12:01 PM on February 14 [25 favorites]


I can’t think of anything worse than letting the trial take up all oxygen for months and STILL failing to convict Trump.
Exactly. It was doomed from the git because McConnell doomed it and going on for months would've sucked ass and I would've lost my job. They had to do it, they did it, the opposition was an outrageous clownshow, it ended as soon as it reasonably could have, and thank Christ for that.
posted by Don Pepino at 12:05 PM on February 14 [15 favorites]


WV has a population around 1.7 million, with 1,249,056 registered voters (West Virginia Voter Registration as of December 31, 2020, and as of January 31, 2020; Dem 36.68%, Rep 36.49%); a slippery figure like Manchin should not have as much power as he does. West Virginia’s Large-Scale Purge Raises Concerns Among Voters - About 1 in 12 names were removed from the rolls, and some voters have reported problems. (The Brennan Center, October 2018) West Virginia’s secretary of state reported last month that more than 100,000 voters — about one in 12 registered voters — had been purged from the rolls prior to the upcoming election. As we documented in a major July report, West Virginia is one of several states that have purged their rolls more aggressively in recent years, raising concerns that eligible voters could be disenfranchised.

Graham says he spoke to Trump after his acquittal and the former President is 'excited' about 2022 (CNN, 20 minutes ago) "I spoke to him last night; he was grateful to his lawyers. He appreciated the help that all of us provided. You know, he's ready to move on and rebuild the Republican Party," Graham told Chris Wallace on "Fox News Sunday." "He's excited about 2022. And I'm going to go down to talk with him next week, play a little golf in Florida. And I said, 'Mr. President this MAGA movement needs to continue, we need to unite the party.' "
posted by Iris Gambol at 12:16 PM on February 14 [3 favorites]




The question, in my mind, was "can the Democrats milk the fuck out of this for all the publicity and ad campaign fodder they can get?"

That wouldn't happen in a vacuum. Any public PR milking would be matched and outyelled step by step by more GOP lies (tweeted, interviewed, FOX, etc, etc). And the media would just cover it as the same damned horse race as always.

One of the best things about Jan 6th was that it resulted in a major shift from the constant barrage of lies. Prolonging the trial was only going to prolong the circus, and after 6 years of it, we know there's nothing good to come of that.

I understand wanting the bully pulpit to work in our favor, for once, the idea that we'd force them to tell the truth, but that just wasn't going to happen. They were always going to acquit him, and it was always going to come along with a firehose of lies and distracting projection bullshit. We don't need another solid year of that.
posted by Dashy at 12:43 PM on February 14 [11 favorites]


Maybe the Dems could have Benghazied this. Maybe if they had, the end result would have been to persuade more Americans that the Republicans are operating in bad faith and harming our democracy. And then, maybe, in the 2022 midterms the Republicans might have suffered huge electoral losses as a result. I'll totally concede that this is a sequence that could have happened and now definitely wont.

But, it also could have gone that dragging out the impeachment with witnesses would have been a wash and not have made any significant electoral difference, or even worse, been a turn off to a significant portion of the electorate as well, leading to Democratic losses in 2022. We'll also never know if that would have been the case.

Maybe you think the first scenario of Democratic benefit would be more likely, and now is lost. I can't say you're wrong. I just don't know.

But, instead, the Dems treated the situation seriously. I think they made their case convincingly, and anyone who wasn't convinced at this point is unlikely to ever be convinced. And now, having done that, they have shown to anyone who is reachable that the Republicans will stand behind Trump and his corruption, dishonesty, and incompetence no matter what. They have also shown that unlike the Republicans they will not make a circus out of the situation.

At this point, post-Trump, I think the Dems being the (comparatively) honest, competent, sane and reasonable party is a good strategy. I think wrapping up the impeachment trial in the Senate without an ultimately futile fight over witnesses is part of that strategy. I think in the next two years the Dems trying to govern seriously and competently will be the best way for them to make their case to the majority American people that they are the better choice. I think its a better strategy than trying to play the Republican's game.

I could be wrong.

But I still think, in the end, that it doesn't make sense to blame the Democrats in any way comparable to the Republicans.
posted by Reverend John at 12:46 PM on February 14 [27 favorites]


It's time to Do. Popular. Things. Let Trump make as much noise in the lead-up to his party's primaries as he wants. For the next six months our main focus should be on enacting bills that do things majorities of the public want: income security, better health care, environmental protection, etc. It'll be amazing to see the national conversation change once Congressional Republicans have simple, clear votes on record opposing these things.
posted by PhineasGage at 12:47 PM on February 14 [39 favorites]


Maybe the Dems could have Benghazied this. Maybe if they had, the end result would have been to persuade more Americans that the Republicans are operating in bad faith and harming our democracy.

The thing is, we've been watching exactly that strategy work for some time now. I can't say it would work for democrats because they haven't tried it. We have, however, seen them operate seriously, efficiently, eschewing the spectacle, making well-reasoned arguments, and failing plenty of times.
posted by The Great Big Mulp at 1:02 PM on February 14 [3 favorites]


It's time to Do. Popular. Things.

Indeed. Holding the best hearings in the world won't do much if Fox won't cover it. But getting financial support and COVID shots will make an impression no matter what.

McConnell has signaled he's done with Trump. Trump has cost the Republicans the House in 2018 and the Senate and Oval Office in 2020. Let the Republicans fight over who's going to take over the party while Biden actually gets shit done, and the who isn't going to matter much.
posted by CheeseDigestsAll at 1:27 PM on February 14 [3 favorites]


You'd think a continuous unbroken 40 year record of failure would convince people that maybe, possibly, trying to engage voters instead of boring them to death might be a worthwhile experiment, but nope. We'll have another 2 years of boring the voters to death then lose the House and Senate and all the people on the bore the voters side will be very puzzled that the voters didn't get enthused by elderly people droning at them like the teachers in Charlie Brown.

*************

I'm down with doing popular things, though I dispute the claim that we can't do popular things and also Benghazi the fuck out of the Republicans about 1/6.

However, the idea that we should move on to doing popular things depends on the Democratic leadership being into doing popular things. And I don't think they are.

Medicare for all is extremely popular, and the Senate Democrats hate it.

Huge tax cuts for working people and a massive wealth tax is incredibly popular, but the Senate Democrats hate it.

Saving us from climate change is a popular idea, but Manchin (second most powerful man in the Senate after McConnell) hates it because he will fight to the death of the planet to preserve the nearly (checks notes) 14,000 people employed in coal mines in West Virginia.

And seriously, now that the rules are set and McConnell still gets to kill every good bill by filibustering it, do you really think he's going to let any popular bills even reach the voting stage? He'll filibuster everything, continuing to be the grim reaper and smirking at us, and the Democrats will toss up their hands and declare that the filibuster is more important than getting things done.

Even when we win, apparently we lose.

I'm going to make a cake prediction right now:

Nothing popular will get done, and we'll lose in a landslide in 2022. And then everyone will, predictably, blame the left for not clapping loudly enough while we did nothing for two years.

I'd love for Schumer to prove me wrong and to eat a cake with those words written on it. But if we have even the wimpy, surrender first, $1,400 checks sent out in a month I'll be stunned.

Look at how the House Democrats are slow walking it while declaring victory. Those checks won't be in people's hands by March 14.
posted by sotonohito at 1:40 PM on February 14 [17 favorites]


All of sotonohito's points are well taken. I keep hearing that the Biden Administration learned from the Obama first two years ("let's make this bipartisan. oh, what? the GOP isn't signing on to a bill they worked on?") but I've yet to see the results. Some of the Dems (including Biden based at least on his comments) tried to deep six the 15$ minimum wage hike, which is hugely popular too. Fortunately the young progressives had some courage. The young progressive wing of the Democratic party is the future, and the establishment Dems had better get on board.
posted by bluesky43 at 2:35 PM on February 14 [3 favorites]


Democratic leaders are allergic to showing any values whatsoever because they're not playing to win, they're playing not to lose. Values neutral governance is like heroin to that sort of mindset.
posted by Your Childhood Pet Rock at 2:41 PM on February 14


Some of the Dems (including Biden based at least on his comments) tried to deep six the 15$ minimum wage hike

No, it is not true that Biden tried to deep six the $15 minimum wage. He campaigned on it for at least a year. I would say that so-called progressives that just make shit up about Democrats are as destructive as Republicans.

“I put it in but I don’t think its going to survive,” President Joe Biden told CBS in an interview scheduled to air Sunday. “My guess is it will not be in [the stimulus bill].” Biden said he would push for a stand-alone bill to raise the minimum wage.
posted by JackFlash at 2:46 PM on February 14 [17 favorites]


I would say that so-called progressives that just make shit up about Democrats are as destructive as Republicans.

you may need to re-calibrate your destruction detector.
posted by lazaruslong at 2:49 PM on February 14 [2 favorites]


Hey, we seemed to agree that failure to of the press to call Trump a liar was a failure.

Saying the Biden, above, was trying to "deep six" the minimum wage is a flat out lie. It does no good. It does a lot of damage.
posted by JackFlash at 2:52 PM on February 14 [22 favorites]


I may be wrong but I took Biden's comments as a trial balloon to deep six the 15$ minimum wage as a possibility. He didn't go out and fight for it and insure his comments showed support for that part of the bill - he said he didn't think it would survive in the bill.
[but we can drop this, it's all speculation and if he did show strong support for it when others were trying to get rid of it, I missed it].
posted by bluesky43 at 2:53 PM on February 14


...While we don’t know why witnesses weren’t called, we know that the Democrats didn’t “cave.” They’re not hapless idiots. They’re savvy fighters, and they must have had a damn good reason for this. Stop blindly attacking them and let this play out.

For instance, the Washington DC Attorney General let it be known last night that he’s looking to criminally charge Trump for the insurrection. That’s infinitely more important than impeachment...
Everyone calm down
posted by y2karl at 3:01 PM on February 14 [23 favorites]


I heard a deep-dive last weekend about the $15 wage. My understanding from that is that it wasn't clear they could get it done within reconciliation, and Biden's comments were consistent with that. However, more budget talking heads came out in the meantime and say "oh, yeah, you can do that" and it's back in. Sorry for the lack of cites, but it was on Marketplace somewhere, or maybe their after-show show.
posted by Dashy at 3:01 PM on February 14 [4 favorites]


It’s going to pass in the House bill, because the House doesn’t give a shit about Senate rules. It’s unclear whether it’ll get through the reconciliation rules in the Senate, or if there’s even majority support for it in the Senate.
posted by Huffy Puffy at 3:02 PM on February 14 [1 favorite]


Thanks Dashy. The context leads me to think that Biden's comments were on the technical issue of including the 15$ wage as part of reconciliation, not showing a lack of support.
posted by bluesky43 at 3:04 PM on February 14 [1 favorite]


And I can see that - from what I understand reconciliation is for budget related bills, and perhaps there was a scenario where a minimum wage hike didn't fit in that category.
posted by bluesky43 at 3:05 PM on February 14 [1 favorite]


There is no rule prohibiting the minimum wage in the reconciliation bill. But Biden is not a dictator. The White House can only make proposals for what they would like to see in the bill and hope that congress agrees.

Democrats have a slim majority in both houses. They have a margin of 5 in the House and a margin of 1 in the Senate, comprising 271 Democrats. All it takes is a couple to peel off and the $15 minimum wage is gone. Have you ever tried to manage a public committee of 271 in order to get a near unanimous decision? Just because there are a couple of weak Democrats does not mean that Democrats are bad.

A very slim majority is the reality Democrats have to deal with. But saying that Democrats are bad is not useful. You need to elect more Democrats so that one or two can't spoil things.
posted by JackFlash at 3:18 PM on February 14 [19 favorites]


Our government's fetish for rules rules rules and never the spirit of the rules, this insane legalism, must be abandoned. Arguing incessantly over just how to split the baby is obviously insane, immoral, leaves the baby dead and both parents with no child, and works assiduously to avoid the actual moral needs at hand.

Democrats playing by broken, patriarchal white-supremacist rules of the late 1700s that wholly/only favor oligarchy is patently insane, and at this late date is on its face immoral.

We need to do what's right for all, not what's legally and/or financially advantageous for slave-owning plantation owners of the mid-1780s. Full stop.

Republicans irredeemably wish to go back and make the 11th century English monarchy great again. Democrats (as in The Squad) can get on board with the sane, humane progressive policies this moment and the future demand or they can get out of the way.
posted by riverlife at 3:27 PM on February 14 [6 favorites]


Republicans irredeemably wish to go back and make the 11th century English monarchy great again.

Æthelred the Tan, Rested, and...Unready.
Don't be sad. Two out of three ain't bad.
posted by kirkaracha at 3:53 PM on February 14 [3 favorites]


So what turned out to be the 11th century English monarchy's weakness?
posted by rhizome at 3:57 PM on February 14


Bad succession planning and heavy cavalry, same as in town.
posted by Huffy Puffy at 3:59 PM on February 14 [18 favorites]


How about if there's a separate thread for those who want to shake their fists at the sky and make grandiose statements about how the democratic party just doesn't want to win or how believing in the value of legislative processes means someone doesn't want to make the world a better place. Meanwhile the rest of us can continue the passionate, sometimes heated, but real-world discussion of what policy proposals would be most effective, which are at least possible to enact in the next two years, and how best to press our elected representatives to make that happen.
posted by PhineasGage at 4:16 PM on February 14 [31 favorites]


It'd cost about $56 million to pay everyone currently employed in the coal industry in West Virginia $80,000 a year for the next 48 years. Maybe we could buy off Manchin with that? $56 million is a drop in the bucket compared to the budget so it wouldn't even be all that pricey.

I can't say I'd do it gladly, but I'd be willing to buy off Manchin with a promise to set up every single person in the coal industry for life. If that's the price of avoiding extinction via climate change it's well worth it.

TBH I swear the thing we really need to do is bring back earmarks so Senators can be bought off. It'd break the lockstep voting bloc that McConnell has built. That's how the entire Federal government worked from the beginning of the country until 2011. And sure, it was wasteful. It resulted in massive inefficiency as everyone lined up for a slice of the pie. But it **WORKED** you could basically bribe people on the other side with spending specific to their state/district and they'd vote for the overall bill.

I don't like the idea of buying off Republicans by promising public works projects in their areas, but it seems like it's better than the alternative where nothing happens and every vote is straight down Party lines (except for the inevitable Democrats betraying their party and voting for Republican bills).

Think Manchin would let us save the planet for $56 million? McConnell betrayed America for less than that from Russia and for all that I dislike Manchin he doesn't seem evil so much as just completely beholden to the coal industry. I like to think he'd take that as an alternative to driving us to extinction just so they can ruin more West Virginia landscape with mountaintop removal.
posted by sotonohito at 4:18 PM on February 14 [23 favorites]


I don't like the idea of buying off Republicans by promising public works projects in their areas, but it seems like it's better than the alternative where nothing happens and every vote is straight down Party lines

For one it benefits the less well off which is a net good no matter how they vote and contributes to the fight to achieve class solidarity, and two it shows people in deep red wherever firsthand how government can help. No real downside to it, or at least nothing major. Sure the GOP pol who scored it is going to crow about it and try to obfuscate the Dem involvement in it, but we can campaign on expanding programs like it or put them in a position of having to campaign on expanding government solutions.

Now, it's more likely some GOP politician is going to demand tax breaks or other benefits for big businesses in their district/state than a works project... but maybe that's hinting at the answer to bringing back earmarks more responsibly, we campaign on only offering ethical earmarks if we get control of the legislature, and lay out what those are. Green jobs and not the old "selectively spread out production of different parts of a missile among different districts for votes" stuff.
posted by jason_steakums at 4:50 PM on February 14 [7 favorites]


The problem is Manchin doesn't probably even think about any of those workers, at all. He almost certainly is only concerned about the half dozen or so bigwigs who own coal mines. So for earmarks to work, that $56 million would have to go straight into those arsehole's offshore accounts, and the workers would once again get nothing.
posted by maxwelton at 4:51 PM on February 14 [4 favorites]


It'd cost about $56 million to pay everyone currently employed in the coal industry in West Virginia $80,000 a year for the next 48 years. Maybe we could buy off Manchin with that? $56 million is a drop in the bucket compared to the budget so it wouldn't even be all that pricey.

I think you might be mean billions rather than millions if there's 14,000 of them. You may have multiplied 80k by 14 instead.
posted by Sparx at 4:56 PM on February 14 [7 favorites]


Biden order reestablishes faith-focused White House office (AP News, Feb. 14, 2021) President Joe Biden signed an executive order Sunday relaunching a White House office aimed at fostering cooperation between the federal government and faith-based and secular community organizations. The order reestablishes the White House Office of Faith-Based and Neighborhood Partnerships, a 20-year-old initiative first put in place by President George W. Bush. The White House said the office’s early goals under Biden will include working to “address the COVID-19 pandemic and boost economic recovery; combat systemic racism; increase opportunity and mobility for historically disadvantaged communities; and strengthen pluralism.” In a statement, Biden suggested that such partnerships are particularly important at a time when the pandemic has created considerable uncertainty and suffering.

Executive Order on the Establishment of the White House Office of Faith-Based and Neighborhood Partnerships; Fact Sheet (Feb. 14)

Not precisely what I had in mind with my "ramp up the executive orders" plea upthread, but it's interesting that this initiative was effectively kaput January 20, 2017, and Biden's re-hired Melissa Rogers, who headed the office from 2013-2017. Josh Dickson, White House Senior Advisor for Public Engagement, will serve as the office’s Deputy Director.
posted by Iris Gambol at 5:50 PM on February 14 [1 favorite]


Ho hum, Joe Biden is just gonna keep presidenting: Biden Takes Center Stage With Ambitious Agenda as Trump’s Trial Ends.
The president plans to quickly press for his $1.9 trillion stimulus bill, and then move on to infrastructure, immigration, climate change and other major priorities.
posted by PhineasGage at 5:57 PM on February 14 [6 favorites]


So, is it finally Infrastructure Week?
posted by Reverend John at 9:09 PM on February 14 [16 favorites]


Biden's decision to emphasize unity and staying out of Trump's business has aged well.

He talks about unity so much it's hard to accuse him of being partisan AND gives him cover to move forward without Republicans if need be.

Even right wing media has a hard time painting him as Trump's enemy because he doesn't really comment on Trump.

The north star is legislation, people!
posted by ichomp at 1:51 AM on February 15 [16 favorites]


I have been really happy with how Biden’s office has been handling things. Absolutely no comment on the senate proceedings. Which is of course how it should be. But it just shows how much normalcy and decency has been missing. He has been hyper focused on his messages around the rollout of policies to help everyone.

I loved Jen Psaki’s recent comment that Biden intended to unify Americans, he never said he was trying to unify democrats and republicans. I think that went a long way in shutting down that narrative.

I read his recent approval ratings were 61% and it brings a wide grin to my face thinking about Trump reading that and going apoplectic that he can’t even rage tweet about it.
posted by like_neon at 2:03 AM on February 15 [28 favorites]


Trump is at least 40% composed of spite and envy, so that's probably true. But at the same time, it's been decades since Republicans first made it clear that they are only interested in governing for their partisans rather than for the entire nation. So in general they dgaf what the majority of the country thinks of them, and more than a few are happy if they can achieve something that has no purpose other than to upset Democrats.
posted by at by at 5:07 AM on February 15 [2 favorites]


Sparx You're right. I dropped a decimal. Still worth it, but yeah a lot more costly.
posted by sotonohito at 5:29 AM on February 15 [1 favorite]


David Brooks' entire career rests on the premise that both sides have value, no matter the sides. He has to believe, on a professional level, that there are members of the GOP who aren't radically opposed to democracy other than possibly Mitt Romney.

David Brooks' career doesn't rest on him believing there are decent Republicans; it rests on making other people believe there are decent Republicans. Therefore he's as dishonest and full of bad faith as any of them.
posted by Gelatin at 5:44 AM on February 15 [12 favorites]


McConnell has signaled he's done with Trump.

And Graham is going down to Florida to kiss his ass some more? Does he think he can walk back McConnell’s very explicit speech?
posted by TWinbrook8 at 6:05 AM on February 15


A comment on the current Democratic progress under Biden. From what I read, the progressives were instrumental in keeping the 15$ minimum wage - a very popular proposal that will bring a living wage to many workers. I strongly support this. But as important I think that it is the obligation of progressive Democrats to be constructively critical of the Biden administration by pointing out again and again the importance of not only fulfilling campaign promises but by affirming the popular progressive policies many Democrats ran on. For myself, I think I was too trusting of past administrations. I am super happy and somewhat surprised at the progressive arc of the Biden Administration so far but I also think that pressure from the progressive wing is essential to keep this momentum.
posted by bluesky43 at 6:22 AM on February 15 [13 favorites]


McConnell has signaled he's done with Trump.

And Graham is going down to Florida to kiss his ass some more? Does he think he can walk back McConnell’s very explicit speech?
posted by TWinbrook8 at 6:05 AM on February 15


/It's all about the money.
posted by bluesky43 at 6:27 AM on February 15


Yes, I understand Graham is after Trump’s email list of gullibles but McCarthy tried and failed already. At this point, Trump just wants to play spoiler.
posted by TWinbrook8 at 6:37 AM on February 15 [1 favorite]


Josh Marshall, TPM: What Were The Senate Democrats Thinking
Senate Democrats decision to forego witnesses earlier this afternoon came as a jolt, inexplicable and maddening, to many or most Democrats outside the chamber because Democrats appeared to hold all the cards and all the votes and yet capitulated entirely. The final decision was simply to enter Rep. Herrera Beutler’s statement into the record and move on.

...

Senate Democrats and Majority Leader Schumer have thus far shown many signs of learning the lessons of the last decade, not negotiating against yourself, not honoring norms and imperatives toward comity your opponents mock and disregard. This decision signaled a failure to grasp the damage sustained by deeply demoralizing your supporters. It opens those who defend them to ridicule and contempt. That sows internal coalitional turbulence and division. More than anything, Senators are in a terribly vulnerable position when they show themselves to be less committed, more indifferent, less dedicated than the voters who put them in office. We’re rushing off to go on break? That’s a terrible look, as is what seems from every angle to be an inexplicable climb down and surrender. Countless Americans gave everything of themselves to bring the nightmare of Trumpism to a conclusion. This, I’m genuinely sorry to say, makes a mockery of that.
posted by lazaruslong at 6:58 AM on February 15 [7 favorites]


Trumpism isn't concluded. We're going to have give everything again, for the 2022, to keep the House and Senate and increased Democrat numbers there.

The lessons from the trial, to me, are that the House managers should have had a plan for calling witnesses (news reports say they didn't).

Getting Trump convicted in the Senate would have been great, but it would have been long and hard to do. Not our preferred outcome, but it is what it is. Let's get to work on increasing numbers, and let the real trial system do its thing.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 7:32 AM on February 15 [5 favorites]


> Josh Marshall, TPM: What Were The Senate Democrats Thinking

That's an accurate summary of the impact it had.

It would have been much better if the Dems had said, early on, that they were not intending to call witnesses. It's the last minute change of plans that makes everybody feel like they kneecapped themselves.

(And anyway, if they said for a solid week that they probably wouldn't call witnesses and then, on Saturday morning, started issuing subpoenas, that would have also been kind of delicious to watch.)
posted by at by at 8:01 AM on February 15 [5 favorites]


Trumpism isn't concluded

It's not "Trumpism", it's never been "Trumpism". It's always been white supremacy, and Donald Trump is just the highest-profile advocate for it, and thus carries the (confederate) flag.

This fight doesn't end. It will continue to be every American's duty to work every day to make up for America's white supremacist legacy. Because when it isn't Trump carrying the flag for white supremacy it'll be someone else.
posted by mikelieman at 8:21 AM on February 15 [26 favorites]


C-Span User Clip by CMarsala: Bruce Castor steals the Senate coasters, February 13, 2021. One of Donald J Trump's defense attorneys makes off with the coasters that presenter's beverages were resting on.

[Look for these authentic souvenirs — to be signed by former president Donald Trump — on eBay soon.]
posted by cenoxo at 8:40 AM on February 15 [10 favorites]


Interesting thread on the consequences of the trump presidency for the Constitution. @jon_rauch

/so much of what Washington does is based on norms that depend on the moral character of the president.
posted by bluesky43 at 8:41 AM on February 15 [3 favorites]


These circumstances are extraordinary; as ejs posted above on Feb. 9:

Eric Swalwell points out that in this case, the jury is actually made up of the victims of the crime:

I think the jurors as victims is the most unique thing you will ever see in a trial. Right? I mean, a Senate juror’s obviously different from a regular juror in that you don’t get to pick who you have on your jury. They self-selected by being in the Senate. But you’ve never seen a trial, would never see a trial, where the jurors are truly victims. That’s such a unique part of this.

We expected them to reconvene just a few hours after they survived one of the worst days of their lives, to get the count done. They still go to work in that building, to their offices, to do their jobs. They're traumatized. I'm not sure it was reasonable to expect them to re-live Jan. 6 for the next couple of months, as the defense dragged out witness proceedings and more to generate crucial Republican-fundraiser-focused soundbites.
posted by Iris Gambol at 10:03 AM on February 15 [5 favorites]


Lindsey Graham is going all in on the Trumps. He's endorsing Lara Trump, spouse of Eric, to replace Senator Richard Burr of North Carolina in 2022. "Lara Trump represents the future of the Republican Party."

Burr was one of seven Republicans to vote for conviction in the impeachment.
posted by JackFlash at 10:21 AM on February 15 [1 favorite]


It's not "Trumpism", it's never been "Trumpism". It's always been white supremacy, and Donald Trump is just the highest-profile advocate for it, and thus carries the (confederate) flag.

Yes, but it's been married to a real cult of personality around Trump. There are ardent white supremacists in government who nevertheless occasionally mildly rebuke Trump for being a little too visibly criminal, and they get piled on as "deep state agents," "RINOs," etc. If it were just white supremacy, there'd be a big tent of white supremacists with varying approaches, rhetorical modes and so on (uh, much like prior incarnations of white supremacist political parties in the US). But now it's just measured on whether they're sufficiently loyal to one guy. That's a real change!
posted by BungaDunga at 10:35 AM on February 15 [7 favorites]


> Lindsey Graham is going all in on the Trumps. He's endorsing Lara Trump, spouse of Eric, to replace Senator Richard Burr of North Carolina in 2022. "Lara Trump represents the future of the Republican Party."

The North Carolina GOP are voting today whether to censure Burr for voting to convict Trump. Lindsey will continue sticking with whichever political trend is most beneficial at the moment, so for now he is all in on Trumps and if between now and next year Trumpism is no longer trendy, he will also blithely stop supporting any of the Trumps.
posted by at by at 11:00 AM on February 15 [1 favorite]




You could have Lara Trump in North Carolina and Ivanka Trump in Florida -- two Trump senators. You aren't going to see the end of the Trumps any time soon.

It would be fun, though, to see Donald cut the knees out from under loyal Little Marco in order to install his daughter in the senate. Donald never returns loyalty. You would think people like Rubio would know that by now.
posted by JackFlash at 11:11 AM on February 15 [5 favorites]


Qusay and Uday 2022!
posted by Mchelly at 11:24 AM on February 15 [15 favorites]


For those who don't know, Richard Burr announced that this was his last Senate term years ago. So it's not that Lara Trump would be primarying Burr, it's just that the Republicans are seeking the most awful person possible to fill the vacant seat.
posted by hydropsyche at 11:30 AM on February 15 [2 favorites]


I wonder how long it will be until Republicans start changing their last names to Trump in order to win elections in Trumpist states.
posted by benzenedream at 12:24 PM on February 15 [3 favorites]


But now it's just measured on whether they're sufficiently loyal to one guy. That's a real change!

A narcissistic sociopath stamped a name brand on a product a crowd wants to openly buy, which made it a profitable opportunity for FOX, Facebook, Parler, etc. Trump is Coke for white supremacists (on several levels). No one brags about drinking Pepsi.
posted by They sucked his brains out! at 12:33 PM on February 15


benzenedream
I'm not sure if you made the name change comment in jest but it has happened in the (Rob and Doug) Ford dynasty in Ontario (although to be fair, Michael is related).
posted by sardonyx at 1:07 PM on February 15


It would be fun, though, to see Donald cut the knees out from under loyal Little Marco in order to install his daughter in the senate. Donald never returns loyalty. You would think people like Rubio would know that by now.

I’m a constituent of little Marco’s and I call him every week to remind him of my overwhelming joy that he’s going to be primaried by Ivanka. I may change my party affiliation in order to vote for Ivanka should she run. It’s going to be delicious!
posted by photoslob at 1:12 PM on February 15 [2 favorites]


re: the Lara, the Ivanka.
This is not how cults work. It's the leader, or its nothing. Can't wait to see the failures occur. If they even end up running, registering, getting on an actual ticket.
posted by Harry Caul at 1:27 PM on February 15 [1 favorite]


On the other hand, doesn't Rand Paul owe his career to being son of Ron Paul?
posted by Joey Michaels at 1:32 PM on February 15 [5 favorites]


I may change my party affiliation in order to vote for Ivanka should she run. It’s going to be delicious!

It's the leader, or its nothing. Can't wait to see the failures occur.

Getting the wrong kind of 2015 deju vu from comments like these, friends
posted by EatTheWeak at 1:32 PM on February 15 [26 favorites]


It's the leader, or its nothing.

I think there's evidence to the contrary. In the Evangelical world, there are plenty of offspring who've taken over the mantle. In politics, Americans have shown a dynastic tendency, e.g., Kennedy, Bush, Clinton. People even suggest Malia and Sasha (and of course, Michelle) Obama should all run for office.
posted by CheeseDigestsAll at 1:43 PM on February 15 [12 favorites]


Americans have shown a dynastic tendency, e.g., Kennedy, Bush, Clinton.

One of these things is not like the others.
posted by kirkaracha at 1:51 PM on February 15 [13 favorites]


On the other hand, doesn't Rand Paul owe his career to being son of Ron Paul?

That, and his access to Ron's mailing list (David Frum for The Week in 2010), built up over years of sending out racist newsletters (James Kirchick for New Republic and Julian Sanchez for Reason, 2008).

Before Trump came along, some people were saying Rand Paul was the early frontrunner for the 2016 nomination (Slate and Daily Beast, 2014). (Even James Kirchick, not a big fan, called Rand Paul a serious contender in 2015 (Commentary.)

If Rand Paul had Donald Trump's pro-wrestling/reality tv charisma instead of, well, the kind of anti-charisma that makes your neighbor attack you because he's mad about your lawn clippings, he might've been 2016's conspiracy-minded fabulist candidate instead of the one we ended up with.
posted by box at 2:34 PM on February 15 [4 favorites]


Yes, we have to be vigilant. Never underestimate the number of angry and unreasonable people, and the power of name recognition and celebrity.

This can be said of all Republicans, but there is something especially depraved about Rand Paul.
posted by ichomp at 3:42 PM on February 15 [4 favorites]


> Rand Paul ... anti-charisma...

CRUZ/PAUL 2024
posted by at by at 7:09 PM on February 15 [6 favorites]


GOG/MAGOG 2028
CTHULHU/NYARLETHOTEP 2032
THE VOID/THE VOID 2036
THE V.ID/THE VOI. ∆~>0
voID..Vo
..v
.
posted by thatwhichfalls at 8:17 PM on February 15 [11 favorites]




One more from WaPo, an opinion by (conservative but never-trumper) Jennifer Rubin: Could Trump be disqualified through other means?

I think she has a point here:
The benefit of a criminal trial is that witnesses can be subpoenaed (e.g., former vice president Mike Pence). House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) under penalty of perjury could be required to recall his conversation pleading for help. The venue of the trial, Washington, might be favorable to the prosecution. Lawyers who behaved as defense counsel did in the impeachment would be held in contempt. The jury will not be “fixed” in advance.
posted by mumimor at 2:02 AM on February 16 [10 favorites]


Boing Boing, Mark Frauenfelder, Feb 15, 2021:Indignant and shameless — clearly MvdV was the right man at the right time to argue innocent victim Trump’s congressional case, then.
posted by cenoxo at 4:11 AM on February 16 [5 favorites]


That van der Veen guy is classy - almost as classy as Castor, who picked extra coasters, when his co-counsel forget his...
posted by From Bklyn at 6:38 AM on February 16 [2 favorites]


NAACP files litigation against Trump and Giuliani in connection to Jan. 6 riots — The lawsuit claims that the former president and his personal lawyer violated the Ku Klux Klan Act by conspiring with white supremacist groups to incite the insurrection., POLITICO, Maya King, 02/16/2021:
On the heels of the Senate's acquittal of Donald Trump, the NAACP, Mississippi Rep. Bennie Thompson and civil rights law firm Cohen Milstein Sellers & Toll filed a lawsuit against the former president, Rudy Giuliani and two white supremacist groups, citing their role in the Jan. 6 insurrection.

The lawsuit, filed Tuesday morning in Federal District Court for the District of Columbia, alleges that Trump and Giuliani, in collaboration with the Proud Boys and Oath Keepers, conspired to incite the riots to keep Congress from certifying the results of the 2020 presidential election. It claims they did so in violation of the Ku Klux Klan Act, a Reconstruction-era statute designed to protect both formerly enslaved African Americans and lawmakers in Congress from white supremacist violence.

Reps. Hank Johnson and Bonnie Watson Coleman will join the litigation as plaintiffs in the coming days, according to a press release shared with POLITICO....
More in the article.
posted by cenoxo at 7:14 AM on February 16 [20 favorites]




Thompson v. Trump et al
Case 1:21-cv-00400 Document 1 Filed 02/16/21

[Download PDF, 32pp]
IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT FOR THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA
Washington Post, Updated Feb 16, 2021 at 8:20 AM
posted by cenoxo at 8:25 AM on February 16 [4 favorites]


Thompson v. Trump et al
Case 1:21-cv-00400


Discovery is going to be GLORIOUS!
posted by mikelieman at 8:58 AM on February 16 [7 favorites]


If it gets that far. First will probably be a year-long battle whether you can even sue the president for his actions as a government official which will work its way up to a 6-3 Supreme Court.
posted by JackFlash at 9:24 AM on February 16 [4 favorites]


If it gets that far. First will probably be a year-long battle whether you can even sue the president for his actions as a government official which will work its way up to a 6-3 Supreme Court.
posted by JackFlash at 9:24 AM on February 16 [+] [!]


You may be right. But there is no chance Trump can find decent lawyers who can make a serious argument. So I'm optimistic.
posted by mumimor at 9:29 AM on February 16 [2 favorites]


I wonder if the various Lionel Hutzes on Turnip's evolving legal team will try to make precedent of the Senate's lack of conviction, i.e. "Your Honor, my client has TWICE been exonerated by the highest legislative body in the land, ipso fatso CASE CLOSED!" So I do hope the plaintiffs firmly establish the difference between a civil or criminal proceeding and a political one. (Edit: or pretty much what JackFlash just said more succinctly above.) Like if you and I were suddenly fired from our jobs, or terminated with notice, we couldn't just spend our last days or hours destroying property at our workplace then say, "I don't work for you any more, can't touch me!"

(I am of course not a lawyer and wouldn't even be admitted to the Hollywood Upstairs College of Legal Knowledge and Small Engine Repair.)
posted by hangashore at 9:31 AM on February 16 [1 favorite]


You may be right. But there is no chance Trump can find decent lawyers who can make a serious argument. So I'm optimistic.

I think we just learned that "good lawyers" is not a factor.
posted by mrnutty at 9:33 AM on February 16 [14 favorites]


is seeding (unsubstantiated) doubts, refuted by appropriate agencies, about the results of elections (and inviting partisans to riot/protest/rally about same) truly within the scope of the acts of a president as a government official? i think not. but assessment of that assertion certainly could wend its way up to the high court.
posted by 20 year lurk at 9:35 AM on February 16 [1 favorite]


If it gets that far. First will probably be a year-long battle whether you can even sue the president for his actions as a government official which will work its way up to a 6-3 Supreme Court.

Maybe. Although so far, from the E. Jean Carroll litigation, the District Court didn't buy the "defaming someone is part of the President's job" and refused to substitute the Justice Department lawyers for Donald Trump's actual A ( maybe B) list counsel who is seeing the hours accumulate, but knows he's not going to get paid.
posted by mikelieman at 9:46 AM on February 16 [2 favorites]


White supremacist gets sued for violating the Ku Klux Klan Act. Film at 11.
posted by kirkaracha at 9:47 AM on February 16 [2 favorites]


First will probably be a year-long battle whether you can even sue the president for his actions as a government official which will work its way up to a 6-3 Supreme Court.

The article that I read said that "the lawsuit is suing Trump in his personal capacity, alleging that he acted outside the scope of his office when inciting the rioters." Is that argument likely to hold water, or will it run into this battle?
posted by dlugoczaj at 9:49 AM on February 16


The article that I read said that "the lawsuit is suing Trump in his personal capacity, alleging that he acted outside the scope of his office when inciting the rioters." Is that argument likely to hold water, or will it run into this battle?

As I mentioned before, E. Jean Carroll's defamation suit against Trump is a few years ahead, so keep an eye on the docket Carroll v. Trump (1:20-cv-07311) if you want to see how Thompson v. Trump et. al. may pan out.
posted by mikelieman at 9:55 AM on February 16 [2 favorites]


This is all just onanism and/or fundraising opportunities for progressive organizations. Whether we like it or not, the only come-uppance Trump can possibly get will happen in the criminal courts, related to his actions (financial and otherwise) prior to his election.
posted by PhineasGage at 9:56 AM on February 16 [1 favorite]


So I do hope the plaintiffs firmly establish the difference between a civil or criminal proceeding and a political one.

There's even a difference between a civil and a criminal proceeding. As one example, OJ Simpson was acquitted of killing Nichole Brown Simpson and Ron Goldman, but after that was found liable in a wrongful death suit brought by the victims' parents.
posted by Gelatin at 9:59 AM on February 16 [2 favorites]


Watch Trump's defense attorney Michael van der Veen tear his mic off in TV interview [CBS News YouTube]

Wow, what a scumbag lawyer. Trump sure can pick 'em.
posted by They sucked his brains out! at 10:07 AM on February 16


The article that I read said that "the lawsuit is suing Trump in his personal capacity, alleging that he acted outside the scope of his office when inciting the rioters." Is that argument likely to hold water, or will it run into this battle?

It seems pretty clear to me that inciting insurrection is not part of his job description by even the most stretched case- even if E Jean Carroll loses. There's an argument that rhetoric against rape accusations is part of a politician's job (what he did is gross and evil, but it's not like politicians don't say gross and evil things on the job). But I can't think of a plausible argument that inciting insurrection could be part of the President's job- it's pretty clearly a violation of his oath of office.
posted by BungaDunga at 11:04 AM on February 16 [1 favorite]


Trump sure can pick 'em.

You might say it's central casting.
posted by box at 11:07 AM on February 16 [2 favorites]


I think we just learned that "good lawyers" is not a factor.

That was a political trial. In criminal/civil trials look more at the 86-1* loss ratio of the election fraud suits. We love the Hollywood story of some small town single lawyer firm arguing a complicated case all the way to the Supreme Court and winning but law doesn't work that way. Any case of that sort requires thousands of hours of work by lawyers, para legals, and support staff who all expect to get paid [and from Trump in advance]. Any who aren't ideologically driven aren't going to touch it with an 11' pole because there is no upside.

[* because the win was later overturned]
posted by Mitheral at 11:19 AM on February 16 [3 favorites]


Whether we like it or not, the only come-uppance Trump can possibly get will happen in the criminal courts, related to his actions (financial and otherwise) prior to his election.

And...what's wrong with that?

I mean, the thing people got Al Capone for was tax evasion as opposed to gangster-ing. But - they still got him.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 11:34 AM on February 16 [7 favorites]


Watch Trump's defense attorney Michael van der Veen tear his mic off in TV interview [CBS News YouTube].

He complains that the media isn't getting the story right, in response to a question about making sure the interviewer is getting the story right. Everything else is straight-up DARVO.
posted by rhizome at 11:45 AM on February 16 [1 favorite]


I agree, EmpressCallipygos - I was rolling my eyes at the NAACP "incitement" lawsuit or any similar effort. I'll be delighted to see Donny broke and wearing an orange jumpsuit. I just think it could only happen from one of the lawsuits regarding his behavior pre-2016.
posted by PhineasGage at 11:49 AM on February 16


Unfortunately civil lawsuits can't lead to prison time. Only a criminal case can convict him.
posted by at by at 1:05 PM on February 16


Luckily there is a "heaping list of legal problems" he's facing, some of them criminal.
posted by PhineasGage at 1:16 PM on February 16 [1 favorite]


I wonder what the tipping point is, when the fancy lawyerin' he will need will cost Donny more than his creditors will extend him. Probably the point at which he moves to Venezuela or Russia, which have no extradition treaties with the US.
posted by They sucked his brains out! at 1:35 PM on February 16 [1 favorite]


Trump raised over $250 million for his PAC and campaign organizations just since the November election. I don't think he's going to run out of lawyerin' money.
posted by JackFlash at 1:52 PM on February 16 [2 favorites]


I doubt that the bulk of that money is intended for "lawyering"
posted by mbo at 3:03 PM on February 16


What "intended" means is subject to lawyering.

The GOP has raised grifting campaign and PAC money for personal expenses to a fine art.
posted by JackFlash at 3:15 PM on February 16 [1 favorite]


Is the idea that Trump is not getting a piece of the Kushner action? Because my understanding is that that's like $2billion from 2020 alone.
posted by rhizome at 3:21 PM on February 16




Yassssss, do it Donnie!
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 3:28 PM on February 16 [8 favorites]


I still contend that Mitch was underhandedly praising Trump and that Trump's letter today is kayfabe fake fighting to drag the news cycle over to "whatever Republicans want to talk about" again, and to create space for Trump to rear his head and yak his fool head off every day from now on.
posted by rhizome at 3:43 PM on February 16 [2 favorites]


Kent Brockman: Could Mitch McConnell be a political hack? His wife spoke out on his behalf.

Elaine Chao: My Mitch is not a political hack. He may be dour, sullen, unsmiling, a political hack... but he is not a porn star!
posted by box at 3:55 PM on February 16 [1 favorite]


rhizome, you mean McConnel was praising Trump during during his repudiating speech? That's a surprising interpretation.
posted by floam at 4:07 PM on February 16


> Trump's letter today is kayfabe fake fighting to drag the news cycle over to "whatever Republicans want to talk about" again...

That presumes a level of skill at 5-dimensional chess that only Qanoners are capable of believing Trump has.
posted by at by at 4:17 PM on February 16 [6 favorites]


> I doubt that the bulk of that money is intended for "lawyering"

PAC money is so loosely regulated that it's effectively lotto winnings.
posted by at by at 4:19 PM on February 16 [3 favorites]


Trump declares war on McConnell, "“Mitch is a dour, sullen, and unsmiling political hack, and if Republican Senators are going to stay with him, they will not win again.”

The funny thing is, Trump's trying to be insulting, but the first half of that statement is the truest thing he's said in five years.
posted by Gelatin at 4:24 PM on February 16 [2 favorites]


That's an amazingly adult attack on McConnell by the man more known for "Sleepy Creepy Joe"; skank Hillary; Jeff Flakey; Crazy Bernie; Watermelon Head; and "Pocahontas"; etc.
posted by Mitheral at 4:58 PM on February 16 [5 favorites]


Yeah, I doubt that was actually written by Trump.
posted by tavella at 5:00 PM on February 16 [6 favorites]


The GOP internal dynamics are so weird right now. They all want the same policies, but although I won't get my hopes up, it's entirely possible that they'd completely break their party over just a matter of how much to kiss this one jerk's ass.
posted by jason_steakums at 5:14 PM on February 16 [6 favorites]


"The GOP internal dynamics are so weird right now. "

Rep. Kinzinger (who agrees with all of Trump's policies, just not his more extreme authoritarian tendencies) has been rebuked by his family:
Rep. Adam Kinzinger (R-IL), who voted to impeach former President Donald Trump for inciting an insurrection on the US. Capitol last month, was recently rebuked by some members of his family for becoming an increasingly outspoken critic of the former president.

Days after the six-term Illinois lawmaker urged Trump’s removal from office for his role in the Jan. 6 Capitol riot, close to a dozen members of his family sent him a handwritten letter, shaming him for siding with “‘the devil’s army.'”

“Oh my, what a disappointment you are to us and to God! We were once so proud of your accomplishments! Instead, you go against your Christian principals [sic] and join the ‘devil’s army’ (Democrats and the fake news media),” the group wrote in a letter first published by The New York Times.
The letter has been widely distributed to the Illinois GOP who are definitely not losing the suburbs for at least two generations are are definitely not already a rump party who have no statewide elected officials and can't stop a Democratic supermajority in both houses. (sarcasm, obviously; they're a rump.)

It makes me a little angry because I do hate Kinzinger's ideas BUT I am forced to respect his integrity and I REALLY DO NOT WANT TO RESPECT IT.
posted by Eyebrows McGee at 6:45 PM on February 16 [17 favorites]


I'd prefer we NOT praise or glorify the non-Trump Republicans.

Republicans are Republicans for a reason. They are still evil.
posted by ichomp at 11:46 PM on February 16 [9 favorites]


From the Trump hates Mitch class-note:

“Mitch McConnell was indispensable to Donald Trump’s success,” Graham said. “They’re now at each other’s throats. I’m more worried about 2022 than I’ve ever been. I don’t want to eat our own.”

I don't want to eat our own...but OK fine I'll do it, but only because I have to.
posted by From Bklyn at 12:29 AM on February 17 [4 favorites]


I don’t want to eat our own.

So you gonna let them eat you?
posted by Pouteria at 2:13 AM on February 17


Rep. Adam Kinzinger (R-IL), who voted to impeach former President Donald Trump for inciting an insurrection on the US. Capitol last month, was recently rebuked by some members of his family for becoming an increasingly outspoken critic of the former president.

That "letter" is "insane" (also where's the html tag for triple underline?).
posted by exlotuseater at 6:33 AM on February 17 [6 favorites]


Trump Plaza Implosion: The Atlantic City casino is coming down (YouTube, watch live today).
posted by cenoxo at 6:41 AM on February 17 [3 favorites]


Video here. Go to 11:40 for actual implosion. Sunday unsatisfying as the name Trump is not visible anywhere an the building.
posted by CheeseDigestsAll at 7:17 AM on February 17 [3 favorites]


That letter is maximum Karen.
posted by Reverend John at 7:33 AM on February 17 [4 favorites]


"You should be very proud that you have lost the respect of Lou Dobbs, Tucker Carlson, Sean Hannity, Laura Ingraham, Greg Kelly etc. and most importantly in our book, Mark Levin and Rush Limbaugh and us!"

That letter reads like it was written by the meaner of my two grandmothers after her mind started to go, most of her friends died, and she started watching tv all day. To quote its writers: so, so, sad.
posted by box at 7:56 AM on February 17 [4 favorites]


That letter is maximum Karen.
seconded. I didn't open it when I saw it on the Times, and now I did, but didn't read beyond the first paragraph. Yuck.
posted by mumimor at 8:41 AM on February 17


From the letter:

Instead, you go against your Christian principals [sic]

That might be accurate as-is, if we're talking about the state of religious education.
posted by mazola at 8:47 AM on February 17 [2 favorites]


"You should be very proud that you have lost the respect of Lou Dobbs, Tucker Carlson, Sean Hannity, Laura Ingraham, Greg Kelly etc. and most importantly in our book, Mark Levin and Rush Limbaugh and us!"

Perfect example of a sentence that reads better when taken in exactly the opposite meaning of what the writer(s) intended, i.e. what you think should make me feel ashamed would leave me proud and even a bit exhilarated. Like those hysterical "This is the FUTURE that LIBERALS want!!" scare-screeds that get passed around on social media and multiply-forwarded emails. ("Higher taxes!! Abortions for all!! Government health care!! Gays out and proud!!!" Sign me the fuck up.)
posted by hangashore at 8:50 AM on February 17 [4 favorites]


METAFILTER: reads like it was written by the meaner of my two grandmothers after her mind started to go, most of her friends died, and she started watching tv all day
posted by philip-random at 9:02 AM on February 17 [8 favorites]


"You should be very proud that you have lost the respect of Lou Dobbs, Tucker Carlson, Sean Hannity, Laura Ingraham, Greg Kelly etc. and most importantly in our book, Mark Levin and Rush Limbaugh and us!"
posted by JackFlash at 9:26 AM on February 17 [20 favorites]


oh. he never had a chance to reconcile with mcconnell. sad! :(
posted by 20 year lurk at 9:45 AM on February 17


.
I've got a lot more dots on me FWIW…
posted by floam at 10:00 AM on February 17 [1 favorite]


Fairness and Accuracy in Reporting was onto this story earlier than most: from 1994, The Way Things Aren't. MSNBC brought Rush Limbaugh's Most Outrageous Moments in 25 Years on the Radio (2013), while The Mary Sue goes with Rush Limbaugh Continues to be Everything Wrong With America (2020).
posted by box at 10:29 AM on February 17 [2 favorites]


I'd prefer we NOT praise or glorify the non-Trump Republicans. Republicans are Republicans for a reason. They are still evil.

OK, yeah, while I could agree with the spirit of this comment, in the immediate post-Trump political age I think it's important to remember who we are outside of Trump's utterly pervasive, personal toxicity. So for me, it's important to recognize actual integrity and honest effort whenever and wherever it occurs; and also to remember that there is no such thing as an evil noun, only evil actions. People must be allowed to sincerely grow and change. Even Republicans.

So I'm with Eyebrows on this, and will drink the shit milkshake of admitting that Kinzinger is acting with actual integrity here, and being outcast and shit upon (especially publicly) by your family for doing so totally sucks, no matter who you are. It doesn't mean that he's magically not accountable for anything he's said or done before now, but it does mean that there is an ethical line he will not cross, and he is being punished for that. While I won't praise him, I won't add to it, either.



(Why yes, I have been repeat viewing Ted Lasso lately, why do you ask?)
posted by LooseFilter at 10:51 AM on February 17 [12 favorites]




reads like it was written by the meaner of my two grandmothers after her mind started to go, most of her friends died, and she started watching tv all day

Ahhh, welcome to my life, except with the meaner of my two parents.

==

rhizome, you mean McConnel was praising Trump during during his repudiating speech? That's a surprising interpretation.
posted by floam at 4:07 PM on February 16


That presumes a level of skill at 5-dimensional chess that only Qanoners are capable of believing Trump has.
posted by at by at 4:17 PM on February 16


I don't see it as Trump's skill, but the party's, and not even 5D. Republicans only way to survive is by changing the subject and attacking (DARVO). There have been so many failures to act in the past few years that Biden is going to look very good just by taking care of basic priorities, just by not being a transnational crime syndicate. People will keep their houses and lives and shit because of Biden, and I'm assuming that means a lot to a lot of people!

Trump is probably dying for attention, and as the figurehead of the party he can get very noisy if he wants, but he also wants to be taken seriously. Thus, a strategy (kayfabe) was born in the wake of Feb 13 that Mitch would describe Trump's successes in fomenting 1/6 with credit-assigning jokes like "moral responsibility." I think Mitch's speech was foreshadowing, and everything he complained was happening with Trump's impeachment are things the Republican party would not waste a second thought visiting upon any of us who got in their way.

Stealing the news cycle to control the dominant narratives (anchoring) is the ignition switch on the bulldozer of Republican policies, and they can only operate when they can drown out differences of opinion. (My prediction will be proved or not quickly, in a week or two. I have a reminder on a tweet to check my intuition) I'm perfectly willing to believe this is a fever deam, but that's the level of (hyper-) vigilance I feel about Republican power in the US nowadays.
posted by rhizome at 11:32 AM on February 17 [8 favorites]


[That Chappelle clip might also be labeled as a supremely insightful on-point Don Lemon clip.]
posted by riverlife at 1:24 PM on February 17 [5 favorites]



[That Chappelle clip might also be labeled as a supremely insightful on-point Don Lemon clip.]

I strongly agree. Actually I was trying to figure out how to describe it as such, but gave up and just posted as is. Then I must have fallen asleep at my desk minutes later, I remember nothing, so I guess I must have been tired after a long day's teams.
(Not making excuses here, more grumbling over our current common fate)
posted by mumimor at 1:37 PM on February 17 [1 favorite]


Yes, the Don Lemon comments after Chappelle are fantastic.

"...he said in the stand up routine that they got the n-word treatment, right? I don't think that they did because they weren't lynched, they were able to leave Washington DC and go back to their respective places of where they lived. And got to turn themselves in if they even dared - if they even decided to, whenever they wanted..."
posted by nubs at 1:45 PM on February 17 [2 favorites]


from the letter -

"We have said enough!"

*goes on for another page*
posted by pyramid termite at 2:08 PM on February 17 [8 favorites]


meanwhile, almost a year ago, the cover story on The Guardian Weekly (Feb-28) was THE ASCENT OF BERNIE

A lot can happen in a year.
posted by philip-random at 5:39 PM on February 17 [3 favorites]


Having a bipartisan commission investigate the January insurrection would be like if the 9/11 commission had included members of Al Qeada on it. Sure it brings some balance but maybe that's not the best approach?
posted by euphorb at 7:05 PM on February 17 [13 favorites]


Various forms of treason have been at the heart of our political life for a long while; these bipartisan commissions inevitably serve to blot out or dampen as much as possible this incendiary truth.

That is, after (at least) the 9/11 (The 28 Pages) and Warren (Magic Bullet) Commissions, it's clear that the fix is in once we as a polity arrive at the choice to use a bipartisan commission as the instrument to resolve a case of treason against the nation.

It's not the bipartisan nature of these commissions per se that results in whitewashed coverups, it's the inclusion of the actual traitors and/or their agents under the color of bipartisanship that results in the commissions' official judgements and verdicts being riddled with deception, misdirection, and fiction. By insinuating themselves in one form or another as members of the commissions' judges, juries, and witnesses, the perfidious continue to wield power enough after their dark acts to influence the State's investigations and conclusions regarding the political crises they themselves have conjured.

We cannot continue to investigate political treason using these bipartisan, "fair and balanced" commissions and expect any kind of sane, nor enlightening, nor just outcome.
posted by riverlife at 11:25 PM on February 17 [11 favorites]


6 Capitol Police officers suspended, 29 others being investigated for alleged roles in riot. CNN

...
One of the suspended officers took a selfie with someone who was part of the mob that overtook the Capitol, according to Rep. Tim Ryan, a Democrat from Ohio. Another wore a "Make America Great Again" hat and started directing people around the building, Ryan said.
posted by bluesky43 at 3:15 PM on February 18 [8 favorites]


Another wore a "Make America Great Again" hat and started directing people around the building

Is that the dude who said he was wearing it as camoflage so he didn't get murdelized? Probably before he realized how many cameras that building has.

35 Capitol Police on the wrong side of the Constitution, how many is normal to assign for a gathering of that type and size? Whatever it is, I bet "35" isn't a tiny chunk. The fix is in indeed, and in multiple dimensions.
posted by rhizome at 3:23 PM on February 18 [6 favorites]


Actually I think the more pertinent question is how many were assigned that day in general (vs. how many should have been)? 35 was probably enough to grease the pathways and secure some navigation, if you know what I mean.
posted by rhizome at 3:31 PM on February 18 [4 favorites]


The implications of that are pretty disturbing.
posted by kirkaracha at 5:20 PM on February 18 [3 favorites]


Is it just me or is it really weird for CNN to attribute the bit about the officer taking a selfie to Tim Ryan, Democrat, which obviously is going to make certain people see that as an assertion that can be challenged, because of Tim Ryan's perceived bias in some bad faith and/or Enlightened Centrist take... when CNN could just be like "this guy, right here, we reported on him ourselves and there's visual proof."

Ryan repeated this fact, but couching that in "according to" is such an unnecessary opening to let people tune out a fact. And why not just stand by your own reporting? It seems like a small thing but it's the kind of thing that happens in little ways a lot of the time and it adds up into something harmful.
posted by jason_steakums at 5:36 PM on February 18 [19 favorites]


No, what I believe the article used Ryan for is he told CNN that one of the suspended officers was the guy who took the selfie, and another was a guy who put on a MAGA hat and showed people around. I think CNN did not know who the suspended officers otherwise were, or at least not from someone they could quote and attribute. What CNN reported previously was just some officer appeared to pose in a selfie. They didn’t previously report his being suspended.
posted by floam at 11:12 AM on February 20 [1 favorite]




THERE...ARE...FOUR...TAKES!
posted by kirkaracha at 7:07 PM on February 21


Supreme Court allows release of Trump tax returns to NY prosecutor
It didn't end in the Senate
posted by mumimor at 8:00 AM on February 22 [1 favorite]


There's an FPP about the SCOTUS tax-return decision.
posted by box at 8:07 AM on February 22 [4 favorites]


Oh, I should have looked there first
posted by mumimor at 8:09 AM on February 22 [2 favorites]


So, a couple weeks ago, YouTube's algorithm fed me a video which turned out to be part of a series.

On the surface it's just a guy walking around DC talking about landmarks. But he focuses a lot on security. And some of his commenters are truly mentally ill. (They think Biden's not president, that former guy is going to be inaugurated next week.)

I wonder how much security is monitoring stuff like this. I mean, when somebody takes video of the VP residence, talks about how a barrier gate looks broken, and "jokes" whether the fence is electrified, well....
posted by NorthernLite at 11:10 AM on February 26 [2 favorites]


If you see something, say something. Report it to the FBI.
posted by benzenedream at 11:54 AM on February 26 [4 favorites]


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