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Tom Rinaldo

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Member since: Mon Oct 20, 2003, 05:39 PM
Number of posts: 22,146

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Mitch McConnell is slime. Kevin McCarthy is a seditionist. There is actually a difference

House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy refused to recognize Joe Biden as President Elect after the Electoral College voted. Kevin McCarthy never openly condemned Trump's Big Lie about the election being stolen from him. Kevin McCarthy, along with the majority of the Republican House Caucus, voted against certifying Joe Biden's electoral victory and attempted to disenfranchise the voters of six states after the insurrection failed and the joint session of Congress reconvened.

Mitch McConnell, the ultimate cynical hard core political animal, has the chops to position himself barely to the left of the sedition line. Kevin McCarthy dove across it deep into the realm of treason. Seven Republican senators and ten Republican House members stood with our democracy. More than seven Republican senators became charter members of the sedition caucus. Mitch McConnell tried to stake out a position for some Republican senators in between. I doubt that "center" will hold.

So Trump has to shut up for another week. Ha!

I bet having to stay muzzled to not make the trial worse for himself is killing him. We get approximately an extra week of Trump not directly injecting his poison into the body politic, while the public further settles into watching a real President attend to the people's business.And more time for the focus to remain on emerging evidence damning to Trump.

We need a 9/11 type Commission to find WHO ELSE is guilty of Sedition. We have the goods on Trump

Trump's legal team point to Pelosi's call for a full inquiry as proof that we don't have all the evidence about what happened on January 6th, and the lead up to it. They are right, we don't. But we have plenty of evidence, far more than enough, to convict Trump in this Senate trial. What we need to find out, and what a Commission is needed for, is who were Trump's accomplices and co-conspirators?

Did any sitting members of Congress help facilitate the insurrection? Were any top officials in the Capital Police and/or DC Metro Police compromised leading up to the serge? Were any of Trump's hastily installed officials at the Pentagon put there to block any swift mobilization of forces to oppose the attempted coup, or to implement martial law in the wake of the Capital invasion had it succeeded in assassinating those in line for the Presidency after Trump?

We need a Commission to investigate what steps can be taken to prevent future acts of sedition. We already know what the Senate should do with Trump

Trump's team wants Senators to exclusively consider the wording of Trump's Jan. 6th speech

They are attempting to shrink the "playing field" down to what Trump said or didn't say during that single hour and fifteen or so minutes. They do so because they want the entire burden of proof for convicting Trump to consist of whether the literal words he used that day, devoid of any further context, constitute "incitement to riot."

The House's article of impeachment does NOT confine itself only to what Trump said on January 6th in asserting that he is guilty of incitement to riot. To the contrary, it specifically cites other conduct that Trump engaged in prior to that day in the actual text of the article of impeachment.

Trump's team strategy is to continually repeat and perpetrate the "Little Lie", and that lie is that Trump is being accused of incitement of insurrection based on the words that he used during that speech only. They are pounding that point. The Democratic Managers have refuted that line of argument, but not as directly as Trump's team has advanced it.

It needs to be called out explicitly. It needs to be stressed that the literal article of impeachment of Donald Trump references a range of impeachable behavior that occurred over an extended period time, and therefor that a defense based of the words he used that day does not constitute a defense against the charge that has been leveled against him.

Why Does Trump's Lawyer Hate The Constitution?

The House managers didn't write the Constitution, our revered founders did. The proposed remedy of barring a successfully impeached official from ever running for office again was the framer's idea, not Nancy Pelosi's. They literally wrote that passage into the text of the Constitution. I thought Republicans believed in going by it's text, not any newfangled modern ideas regarding when to let to "the voters" decide and when not to?

The framers thought that remedy applicable only after a government official is found guilty of High Crimes and Misdemeanors. Without that finding there is no such penalty. The framers could have left that part out of the Constitution if they wanted to, and reserved it for future voters to decide whether a successfully impeached official can ever again serve in elected office. They chose not to. They thought it appropriate for Congress to decide that question. Why is Trump's team second guessing the founders?

For that penalty to be applied, two thirds of the U.S. Senate has to first agree that the official in question, in this case the President of the United States, is guilty of High Crimes and Misdemeanors. Democrats can't do that on their own. Reaching that threshold is intrinsically more bipartisan than the votes cast for 90% of the routine matters that the U.S. Senate passes judgement on.

Are Republicans blaming Benjamin Franklin for the origin of "Cancel Culture?"

The most dangerous thing that Trump ever said. There are lot's of nominees of course

...up to and including "You have to fight like hell or you won't have a country anymore." But in my opinion the most dangerous thing Trump ever said is "The only way I can lose this election is if it was rigged." Other of his statements, like "LIBERATE MICHIGAN!" may have been more likely, in the short run, to inspire violence and death, but "The only way I can lose this election is if it was rigged" struck deepest at the very essence of democracy itself, and the fundamental faith the public has in our system of self government.

Trump first made that claim in late Spring/Early Summer, long before anyone on earth could predict with any confidence how an election held in November would turn out. And he didn't make it once, it was a statement he repeated often. It was the cornerstone of "The Big Lie", and it laid the groundwork for "Stop The Steal!" and the subsequent invasion of a joint session of Congress by a rabid mob of insurrectionists intent of stopping the peaceful transition of power in America.

By asserting that "The only way I can lose this election is if it was rigged? Trump established, in the minds of his most loyal followers, that only one outcome of the then upcoming election could be legitimate, one that left him in the Presidency. A Biden presidency, by his very definition, would be illegitimate, gained only through a stolen election. Trump began making that claim without benefit of any even bogus proof, since not one vote in that race had yet been cast when Trump made that declaration.

The House Impeachment managers did draw attention to Trump's claim that he could not lose a fair election during their earlier presentation, but I hope they return to that and stress it during their closing remarks, because every U.S. Senator (except temporary appointees) got to that chamber through waging an election campaign. And every one of them know down to their bones how bold a lie Trump told America. Each of them poured blood, sweat, tears, and money into their own Senate campaigns, knowing that victory is never assured until after the votes are cast. In 2018 even a Republican Senate seat in Alabama slipped, for a time, out of the GOP's grasp.

Every member of the Senate "jury pool" knows that "The only way I can lose this election is ff it was rigged" was not only 100% false, but that it was dangerous to democracy to claim. It prefaced "Stop the Steal" and led to an attack on Congress itself. That is clear in hindsight, but it didn't require foresight at the time to know that Trump's claim was both false and toxic to our democracy. They all knew he was lying about something fundamental to self government. Very few, if any, forcefully condemned Trump for claiming that the only legitimate election would be one in which he won. They let it go at the time because it was just "Trump being Trump." Just like Trump telling an angry mob to march on the Capital to "Fight like Hell" was just Trump being Trump.

Trump's ONE reference to "peaceful demonstration" was to provide him with plausible deniability

It was an emotionless scripted comment that he knew would not register with that crowd, especially after he followed that later with a dozen heated references urging them to "fight to save our country." Trump knew there would be violence and he knew that he would be blamed for it, hence that one comment was inserted into his speech. Republicans will attempt to use it exactly as Trump intended it, to shield him from culpability. I hope someone on the House manager's team points out the likelihood that his single listless call for peaceful behavior was always intended for post riot consumption, knowing that the overwhelming bulk of his more passionate remarks would literally incite a riot.

I think the crazies, and the racists, have hit their high water mark.

That doesn't that mean the flooding will significantly recede anytime soon, but the crest hit January 6, 2021. I know that danger continues, but I think the highest risks diminish from here. Most likely there will be further violence, but it will be more akin to previous right wing domestic terrorism, launched in the shadows with fewer full frontal assaults on our Democratic institutions.

The far right finally got their president, and now he has come and gone. They had their man on high who could amplify a call to hatred to the maximum degree possible. Trump could, and did, manipulate the Department of Justice to shield them from adverse legal consequences. Trump was the demagogue they needed, the man who literally embraced their violence and the physical intimidation of any and all opponents. He waved the bloody flag of tribalism like a red flag before a bull, and did so while standing before a podium bearing the presidential seal.

With demographics shifting inexorably toward a more multi-cultural America, Trump represented their last best chance to impose their intolerance on America, with all of its fascistic underpinnings, and they knew it. That's why the a mob assembled on January 6th willing to storm Congress to impose their will upon it. They fell short, the Republic survived, and now comes the turning of the tide.

I believe that the Republican Party, as it currently stands, is in for a world of hurt. Bigots will consolidate their hold in places, but the brass ring of national leadership has slipped out of their hands.

Soldiers risk their lives, and sometimes they lose them, defending the U.S. Constitution

And they earn a hell of a lot less money in their paychecks each month than do U.S. Senators, who have the legal authority to subject our military to grave threats on their lives. With extremely rare exceptions, no Ex United States Senator will ever face food insecurity, or possible homelessness, after they leave office, nor suffer from any severe disabilitie as a direct consequence of their service to our nation in Congress.

Soldiers swear an oath of loyalty to America, and should they be asked to, they will charge up a hill under fire to uphold it. Fear of maiming or death does not relieve them of their obligation, and should they refuse to uphold their mission they can face imprisonment as a consequence.

United States Senators swear an oath to uphold our Constitution. In so doing they face the possible risk of losing reelection, should honoring that oath prove unpopular with their constituents. Unlike most Americans who lose their jobs, Ex U.S. Senators qualify for good pensions.

How the hell did our society devolve to the point where we fully expect typical Americans serving in the military to risk their very lives in order to defend our democracy, but take if for granted that privileged members of our political class will violate their oath of office if upholding it might put their reelection at risk?



I gotta say, overall I'm pretty impressed by how unified Democrats have remained

People who go into politics generally have strong egos, they don't always easily "fall in line", and every elected official has their own specific set of constituents to please in order to remain in office. It's a big country and the Democratic Party tent is pretty damn large, and yet when push comes to shove Democrats have found a way to work together, with scarcely a defection of any consequence when the chips are really down. Our unity toward impeaching Trump is only the latest example

It's Republicans, not Democrats, who are showing major fissures. From Sanders to Manchin the Democratic caucus in the Senate has essentially held together. Sure, sometimes something has to give and not everyone walks away entirely happy, but if you look at Senate Democrats now, ruling with just the slimmest of majorities, I think they are functioning as a unit better than the larger Democratic majority did during Obama's first term.The potential for Democratic intramural conflict is at least as large in the House as in the Senate, but our slim majority there has similarly remained solid, even after some simmering tensions boiled up after Democrats unexpectedly lost House seats in the last election.

What Biden is working hard to accomplish is a hell of a lot more bold than just some reforms at the margins. If Biden gets 90% of what he wants Democrats to support in Congress, that's a big fucking deal. He and his team are owed high praise for his leadership so far, as are Schumer and Pelosi. But members of both the right and left flanks of the Democratic coalition deserve some credit as well. All no doubt have items they feel are worth fighting over, but it's been done to date with minimum actual fracturing. It bodes well for all of us, no matter how much we may wish for some things to be different. I think our elected Democrats in Washington, each and every one of them, know how close our nation is to the brink, and are determined not to blow this chance to pull it back from that brink due to unrestrained infighting.
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