HomeLatest ThreadsGreatest ThreadsForums & GroupsMy SubscriptionsMy Posts
DU Home » Latest Threads » Tom Rinaldo » Journal
Page: 1 2 Next »

Tom Rinaldo

Profile Information

Member since: Mon Oct 20, 2003, 05:39 PM
Number of posts: 22,209

Journal Archives

The constant complaints here about Manchin distract from the real point

Quite simply we need more Democratic Senators. To expect Joe Manchin to vote Democratic with anything remotely the reliability of his more liberal Democratic colleagues in the Senate is, always has been, and always will remain an utter delusion. Trump won West Virginia by 40 fucking points over Biden in November. Trump beat Biden there by more than two to one. Without Manchin caucusing with the Democrats, Kamala Harris would not get to cast tie breakers in our favor in the Senate, even after our stunning wins in Georgia. The GOP would control the Senate and McConnell would be the Majority Leader there.

Georgia is the point, not Joe Manchin: Georgia and other states like it where Democrats theoretically are within striking distance to win Senate seats. We need to win those type Senate seats. Hell, Indiana, Missouri, Kansas, Texas and Louisiana are easier lifts for Democrats than trying to win a Senate seat in West Virginia without Joe Manchin running as a Democrat. Do you know how many State electorates backed Trump by a greater percentage in 2020 than did West Virginia? One, Wyoming, where Trump won 70.4% of the vote compared to the 68.6% Trump won in West Virginia. Some people have pointed out that Jon Tester manages to be a more reliable Senate Democratic vote while representing another highly Republican state, Montana. That's true, but Trump only won 56.9% of the vote in Montana.

And nowhere is it preordained that Joe Manchin has to remain a Democrat unless he so chooses. Manchin could win reelection to the Senate from West Virginian easier as a Republican, or a Republican allied Independent, than he could as a Democrat. Periodically someone on DU ponders what's the chance that Murkowsky, Romney, or Collins could defect from the GOP and give Democrats a bigger majority in the Senate? Frankly the chances are greater that Manchin could defect from the Democrats and hand control over the Senate to the GOP. If we keep threatening to primary him, maybe Manchin will.

This isn't a love letter to Joe Manchin. Not only is he a centrist far to the right of me, but the man is a standard issue politician, pretty much as capable of acting hypocritically as any mainstream Republican. But he still votes with Democrats far more often than does any mainstream Republican, let alone the right wing loons. If the conditions were ever ripe to mount a real primary challenge to Manchin from the left, by someone who could go on to win the general election if he defeated Manchin in a Democratic primary, I would definitely consider backing it. Manchin's seat comes up in 2024, and it seems far fetched to me that West Virginia will change that much in the next four years. We'll see. Meanwhile though there are 34 Senate seats up in 2022, of which 20 are currently held by the GOP.. And you don't have to be a wizard at math to know that 22 comes before 24.

Here is an interactive map that highlights all of the 2022 Senate races, ranking probable victories for each party. You can tweak it as you see fit. Right now, with leaners, the forecast is for Dems to hold 50 seats, Republicans 49, with Pennsylvania as a toss up. If we can hold onto all the seats ranked as leaning Democratic, and pick up just Pennsylvania, Joe Manchin's vote suddenly becomes a lot less important. If we can pick off Wisconsin or North Carolina also, without losing any currently blue leaning seats, then the vote of centrist Democratic Senator Kyrsten Sinema of Arizona becomes far less critical also.


As for Joe Manchin, right now I'm glad we have him. Without Manchin there would be no current talk about which aspects of Biden's Covid plan can pass the Senate through reconciliation, all of it would be Dead on Arrival.

The 2nd most frightening political statistic I've seen: Majority of Republican voters blame Antifa

for staging the insurrection at the Capital last month (with a smattering of Trump supporters in the crowd.) If that many million Americans can be convinced that lie is true, after the mob was broadcast live on national television, they can be convinced to believe anything. Unlike "the original sin" of Trump's Big Lie about a stolen election, which was predicted by Trump a thousands times before election day, and then peddled as stone cold truth by him a thousand times after the election, it took very little prepping to get Republican voters to swallow whole the lie that Antifa led the invasion of Congress.

Trump spent 50 million dollars to get his supporters to come to DC on January 6th. Republican voters were the ones bombarded by Trump's call to turn out en masse to "Stop The Steal", and yet they are willing to believe that a shadowy group called Antifa dominated that crowd in disguise? No wonder Republican politicians and GOP operatives have moved on from simply spinning facts and selectively editing data to the complete fabrication of an evidence free alternate reality.It is so much more efficient to make up anything they want.

The most frightening politician statistic that I'm still trying to come to terms with is that a majority of Republican members of Congress actually voted to overturn the certified results of a presidential election held in six states that didn't vote the way they wanted them to, in order to elect the candidate of their choice instead.

Life has left me disoriented of late. Big pieces of reality just keep shifting

Five years ago I was a guy who took politics more seriously than most, who was caught up in watching a presidential race take shape while I lived my life pretty much as I had for a decade. Trump pulled the rug out from everything for me, and news about the damage he was causing our nation dominated my psychic world, and seemed to do so more and more as each month went by. Then the Pandemic hit, and all of my normal routines suddenly changed and so many things that I always took for granted no longer were possible, including any assumption that I would still be alive thirty days hence.

Biden defeated Trump but everything stayed surreal, with Trump not conceding and plotting instead to stay in office, culminating in the insurrection last month and then his second impeachment etc. Meanwhile, as an older American I've been obsessed with trying to get an appointment for a Covid 19 vaccine shot, and that became a new daily drama. This last Thursday I finally got my first shot. On Saturday we managed to line up a vaccine appointment for my partner this coming Wednesday. Now we no longer have that to obsess over. There is still a pandemic but a light at the end of that tunnel is starting to become more real to me. Trump and his ilk are still a real menace to America, but the fact that Biden is our president and Democrats now control Congress is starting to become real to me also. But nothing, absolutely nothing, feels normal. Neither the normal that was my reality five years ago nor the "alternate" reality hell that marked every day under Trump for me either.

I am used to being absolutely glued to the news but now it no longer seems "to refresh" itself every four hours to justify that constant attention. It has all left me feeling kind of "up in the air". I don't know what my routines are anymore. Is it too soon to let out a deep breath? Do I still have to stay on constant guard for other shoes to drop? Will we ever really relax again?

Acknowledging Lisa Murkowski

Seven Republican Senators voted to convict Trump and all of them, in this special instance, deserve praise for doing what was right for our nation, undoubtedly in the face of intense pressure. All of them carry targets on their backs now, and even those who are retiring will likely still have to deal with the fury of Trump crazies in their private lives.

Lisa Murkowski however is not retiring, and unlike Republican Senators like Collins and Cassidy she doesn't have six more years before she faces re-election. Murkowski's current term ends in 2022. She will be primaried by Trump Republicans and they will be coming after her both hard and soon. Murkowski knew that when she voted to convict Donald Trump, but she still voted her conscience, and upheld her oath of office. That actually demonstrated some personal courage, and I want to acknowledge her here for that.

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.
Go to Page: 1 2 Next »