Impeachment articles drawn up by House, as well as request for Pence to invoke the 25th Amendment

January 11, 2021 • 1:00 pm

Just a a couple of hours ago, the House of Representatives introduced a motion to impeach the “President” for the second time. Click on screenshot to go to the pdf:

There’s one article: “Incitement of insurrection,” but that includes not only his speech to the protestors before they bum-rushed the Capitol, but also his sleazy phone call to Georgia’s Secretary of State, urging him to “find more votes” to overturn the state’s electors.

There’s also this resolution, based on the same data, calling for Pence to get the 25th Amendment rolling and call on Trump to resign, forcing him if he balks (click on screenshot):

House Republicans objected to the second measure, but they’re in a minority, so if that resolution comes to the floor, it will pass. But it’s toothless, for it has no power to force Pence to do anything. The NYT gives more details:

As expected, Republicans objected to a resolution calling on Mr. Pence to invoke the 25th Amendment, meaning that the House would have to call a full vote on the measure, most likely on Tuesday. Democratic leaders were confident it would pass, and pressured Republican lawmakers to vote with them to beseech the vice president, who is said to be opposed to using the powers outlined in the Constitution, to do so.

It was a remarkable threat. If Mr. Pence does not intervene “within 24 hours” after passage and the president does not resign, House leaders said they would move as early as Wednesday to consider the impeachment resolution on the floor, just a week after the attack. Already more than 210 Democrats have signed onto the leading charge, just shy of a majority of the House. Several Republicans were said to be considering voting to impeach for the first time, though party leaders were opposed.

I think there are grounds for invoking the 25th Amendment, as Trump is clearly incapacitated by some mental affliction, but this is a futile gesture. I have more hope for (and approval of) the impeachment, but with the proviso that if the House passes it (and it will), they wait a while before sending it to the Senate before trial. That would prevent Biden’s first days in office from being tied up in a fractious impeachment trial, and allow him—as, I believe, he wishes—to get going with his legislation. And we need him to get going, for we don’t know if he has longer than two years of a Republican Senate.

As they say every decade, “We live in interesting times.” But I never imagined I could see the day when a fascist could hold the reins of power and command his minions to storm the Capitol building. This is worse than Nixon, which is the worst I’ve seen since I’ve been alive.

124 thoughts on “Impeachment articles drawn up by House, as well as request for Pence to invoke the 25th Amendment

  1. I would settle for tRump resigning. It will be in disgrace. I think that sensible Republicans, if there are any, would prefer that he resign too. Even the WSJ advocates for his resignation. The Dems should try and convince the Republican Senate to line up the votes to convict and send Lindsey Graham to Trump with a choice. Resign or be the first President in history to be impeached and convicted. It might work.

    1. Given what we know about little Donnie’s mental characteristics, we can be pretty sure it won’t work. [It might have 20 years ago, but Trump’s infantile tendencies, long evident, have completely taken
      over now.] Impeachment will be better because: (a) it will force House Republicans to go on record;
      and (b) when the articles of impeachment go to the Senate (better the new one), it will then force Senate Republicans to go on record. History will be well served if there is a recorded vote and/or statement from each Republican politician on their assessment of Mr. Trump’s latest escapades. If a large segment of
      the GOP chooses to support or make excuses for them, the effect of this choice on the future of their
      party will be well-deserved, as well as salutary.

      1. Right now, if the Repugnicans are forced to go on record, they will probably vote to acquit arguing he will be gone in nine days anyway. But they might sign on to a threat. And if the orange monster still won’t quit, they may be pissed off enough to convict.

  2. Meanwhile, the view from Europe about the Big Tech ban on Trump, is that they’re worried about US firms having too much power.

    Angela Merkel’s spokesperson says that she finds the ban “problematic”, and thinks that such bans should only be made by the courts, saying freedom of opinion “can be intervened in, but according to the law and within the framework defined by legislators.”

    In the UK, cabinet minister Hancock says: “I think it raises a very important question, which is it means that the social media platforms are taking editorial decisions. And that is a very big question because then it raises questions about their editorial judgements and the way that they’re regulated.”

    And apparently, “A law is due to be passed in Poland that would fine Big Tech firms $2.2 million every time they unconstitutionally censor lawful speech online. Under its provisions, social media services will not be allowed to remove content or block accounts if they do not break Polish law.”

      1. As for Terms of Service:

        Remember when alt-righter Richard Spencer was sucker-punched on video? And Social Justice Twitter collectively widdled their pants with glee over “punch a Nazi”, and lots of justifications were given for punching Nazis, and if you merely suggested that violence was perhaps not appropriate you were declared to be a “Nazi enabler” and thus effectively a Nazi deserving punching yourself?

        How many of the thousands of such people were thrown off Twitter for promoting violence? A big, fat none at all. How many are thrown off Twitter for Tweeting at J.K. Rowling “die chocking on my girl-dick you TERF” or similar? Worldwide you can find tens of thousands of Twitter uses calling for the death of blasphemers and apostates (literally, tend of thousands). Just ask the ex-Muslims. Does Twitter ban them for advocating violence? No, it bans the ex-Muslims.

        1. You’re saying those things are just like organizing an insurrection to bring down a democratic government, Coel?

          1. Well no, but they are violations of the ToSs — which is what people seem to be pointing to. And the “insurrection” didn’t have the tiniest chance of bringing down the elected government, it was more just a riot.

            And as for insurrection, BLM/Antifa took over several blocks of down-town Seattle for a month or so, excluding the police and declaring it “autonomous” from the government — how is that not insurrection? And much of that was organised on Twitter and Facebook. Did Twitter and Facebook take down accounts in favour of BLM and Antifa and anyone supporting the CHAZ? Did they heck! Instead they gave multi-million-dollar donations to the instigators. Did Amazon, Apple and Google take down any apps and websites that didn’t take down pro-CHAZ commentary? Did they heck!

            1. A voice in the wilderness. You have highlighted the central hypocrisy behind these efforts, however legitimate and necessary, to silence Trump and others like him. The Tech giants can NOT claim a moral high ground here as the biases in enforcing their respective ToS is (or ought to be) obvious to all.

              This should come as no surprise – they are for-profit businesses unconstrained by law (WRT to speech) with a bottom line to pay attention to. To be sure, the people at these companies are likely rightly outraged and wish to silence Trump and others. That is their right and I don’t really have a problem with it but it pays to remember; they are NOT on our (the public’s) side.

              As a practical matter, Trump needs to be silenced for now and, given the circumstances, I am having a hard time drumming up outrage. But make no mistake, this is a very dangerous road we’re on. Already we see in Poland and in other countries exactly the kind of restrictions our 1st amendment prohibits here but which are applied instead to the techies.

              I foresee in the near future major efforts to undermine the one freedom from which (arguably) almost all the other civil rights we enjoy stem. It is happening already here at WEIT. It starts by allowing big tech, in the absence of alternatives (and as of now, there are none), to define what is acceptable speech and what is not. There is only one way forward with that approach and it will spell the end of our rights as we’ve known them because censorship of views unpopular with a segment of the population will become the norm, then the law.

              1. ” It starts by allowing big tech, in the absence of alternatives (and as of now, there are none), to define what is acceptable speech and what is not.”

                I do not believe that to be true. There ARE alternatives – Parler can opt to own its own servers, just like every website on the Dark Web. Google, etc do not own the internet – they own cloud servers.

              2. I understand what you’re saying Roger, and you’re not wrong. But there ARE significant barriers. These tech companies are near monopolies and further, unlike olde skool monopolies, they may be easier to disrupt for the very reasons you cite. That is something we should do.

                The way I think of it is like the old regional phone companies who simply could not compete with Ma Bell because the cost to enter the market was too high. Something similar is at play here; Parler is likely to go under because of this (I will not mourn their loss) but it is as clear a case of the power these companies have as you are likely to find in any monopoly dispute, olde skool or not. Unlike Ma Bell, THIS one impinges on a fundamental aspect of our civil rights.

              3. As I have said repeatedly, these internet companies don’t want to have to self-regulate. This has been pushed onto them. Instead, Congress should tackle this problem head-on. In fact, the whole world should be included in the discussion. This blaming of internet companies is an excuse for inaction. Much as presidents have had to rely on Executive Orders to get stuff done, internet companies have been pushed into dealing with increasingly draconian terms of service. One half of the public complains about unfair administration of TOS and the other half wants them to do more. The two groups occasionally switch sides when the issue changes.

            2. Seriously, Coel, I’ve alway thought you would be above the what-about-ism.

              “More just like a riot.” I’ll try to remember that because I do not think we’ve seen the end of this by a long shot. (And I use “long shot” literally.)

              Equating people who attack the Capitol and state houses around the country with weapons with the yahoos in Seattle is… well, I’m not sure what adjective to use. Let’s just say, naive.

              1. There were two murders and many arrests for violent crimes like assault and robbery (not to mention too many thefts and burglaries for the police to even investigate) at CHAZ.

                FTR – I lived at the corner of 12th and Olive – two blocks from CHAZ – at the time. It wasn’t anything BUT a slow motion riot.

              2. If you’re implying that I was a supporter of or excuser-of the CHAZ events, you’re mistaken.

                I repeat that what-about-ism is unworthy of WEIT commentariat.

              3. Oh, I am sorry GBJames, I certainly didn’t mean to imply that. My apologies. Your point is well taken. My comment was an attempt on the nature of CHAZ – it was as much a violent protest as any riot, it just took several weeks to complete.

        2. “How many of the thousands of such people were thrown off Twitter for promoting violence? A big, fat none at all.”

          How do you know this? Twitter has a tweet reporting apparatus, and the advocation of violence is one of the things you can report. People ARE suspended for this behavior.

    1. How is Trump’s freedom of speech being curtailed? He can have rallies, host a press conference, release an edict, fume on the South Lawn, spew on Fox, dominate am talk radio, send out blanket emails, etc, etc. etc.

      What he can’t do is use somebody else’s tech platform to amplify it thousands fold.

      1. Ever since Mill, “freedom of speech” has been taken to include the ability to participate in the normal means of communication that a society uses, and nowadays that includes social media and other internet infrastructure. Near-monopoly means of communication that de facto dominate conversation are now “infrastructure” and being excluded from them is censorship.

        [And no, censorship is not just about government censorship and not just about the First Amendment.]

        And can Trump “send out blanket emails”? His emails to his fans have dried up; at least one emailing company has stated that it has discontinued service. One can’t send emails to a list of millions just from a laptop, you need the cooperation of tech firms.

        Tens of millions signed up to his Twitter feed or his email list with the expectation of hearing from him. In terms accepted since J. S. Mill, pulling the plug on that amounts to censorship.

        And ignore the silly xkcd cartoon about “it just means that no-one wants to hear from you”, 80 million Twitter users did want to hear from Trump.

        Postscript: “Social media company Parler sued Amazon on Monday, alleging that its suspension from Amazon’s hosting service violated antitrust law and breached the companies’ contractual arrangement.”

        1. I think it’s reasonable for there to be different expectations of a President than for the average Joe. When a President consistently lies and spreads disinformation, the consequences are much more significant. Accountability should be measurably greater. Since his party refused to do anything about it, it has fallen to others. Not a good system.

          Speech, like everything else in the US political system is really only dependent on the checks and balances of an individual’s character and/or the skill or chutzpah of their legal representation. Generations of an adversarial system have left us in a place where winning is all that matters and where truth is often at odds with that approach. That we have made it this far on that is in itself a miracle.

          It would be interesting at some point to apply the free will concepts from elsewhere on this page as well as neuroplastic learning models to the discussion of speech in America. It’s not unusual for law to lag behind science and I think that’s part of our problem here. We cling to our traditions in a world where there has been an industrialization of lying and disinformation. What is speech? What is marketing? What is disinformation? Should we distinguish these? Can we preserve the first while controlling the next two? I have no doubt that our commitment to free speech at almost all costs has allowed these others to thrive. What is isn’t clear is what if anything we can do about it, but if we don’t, I fear we are done.

          1. The reach of the speaker should play a role in any future scheme for restricting harmful speech (calls for violence, crime, etc.). This is consistent with looking at the problem as analogous to falsely yelling “Fire!” in a crowded theater. In short, it is not only what you say but who you say it to.

          2. What if we took the discussion away from such a hot and loaded topic as politics and extend these to speech would like to see restricted in fields which we *know* – without doubt- are harmful and fraudulent? Let’s start with homeopathy. We could then move on to astrology. What about Christian Science? From there it is not far, at all, for censors to go after various ideas about culture, philosophy and art, and ultimately, back to politics. The slopes get very slippery indeed and those sliding down them may not necessarily be the ones we’d want.

            This is a hugely complicated problem with no clear answers. How DO we balance our rights with our safety? I don’t know, but I submit the one thing we should NOT do is throw away our principle rights, the ones that actually mean we have some semblance of freedom. There is a quote from a founding father regarding giving up freedoms for safety; I think it’s obvious enough.

            But I do think that it is a vain hope; very soon from now the US will not look like the one I knew.

            1. No clear answers, indeed. I think there are very few actual extreme/absolutist free speech advocates. Our host draws the line at inciting violence, but that is often, too, in the eye of the beholder. We all have a line somewhere and I expect we all get a bit queasy around the edges of our lines. I doubt anyone would disagree with “we should NOT throw away our principle rights”. We would just argue with each other about what exactly they are and where the edges were.

              1. I’m not saying making such judgements is easy but I suspect it is a bit like pornography in that recognizing instances of it is much easier than coming up with a general rule.

      2. Unlike every other twitter user in the world, Donald John Trump could simply stroll over to the James S. Brady Press Briefing Room along the West Wing concourse (just above JFK’s old swimming pool that Nixon had filled in) and have the whole world listening to his every word.

        Of course, then he’d have to face questions or, more likely, be seen by the world as being too pusillanimous to do so, rather than merely hammer out an ALLCAPS, randomly punctuated, misspelled rant with his thumbs on his telephone keypad.

        1. While not completely on point it has always been my opinion that Nixon had the pool concreted over b/c he couldn’t stand the thought of JFK and Marilyn (and others, no doubt) lolling and lusting around in it like dolphins in heat. You can just imagine that really pissing off Nixon.
          So that’s that, then. Sorry. Where were we?

    2. IMO corporations creating private-but-effectively-our-primary-online-public-meeting-spaces is problematic, and something we have not adequately dealt with (yet). We have not yet figured out how to steer between “public forum…welcome to the swamp of hate” and “moderated forum…enjoy for-profit corporate control over your speech” But I’m optimistic some smart folk will eventually find an answer.

      1. If only government could regulate them like Utilities. That problem there is which regulatory agency would have jurisdiction for each country.

    3. Meanwhile Glenn Greenwald (admittedly perhaps not the most reliable source) says:

      “Do you know how many of the people arrested in connection with the Capitol invasion were active users of Parler? Zero. The planning was largely done on Facebook”.

      Also: “For years, I heard it’s invalid to object to political censorship by FB & Twitter because, if you don’t like it, you can just create a competing social media platform. Parler tried. And in 24 hours, Google, Apple & Amazon united to destroy it. That’s what monopoly power means.”

      Meanwhile from Ron Paul: “With no explanation other than “repeatedly going against our community standards,” @Facebook has blocked me from managing my page. Never have we received notice of violating community standards in the past and nowhere is the offending post identified.”

      1. There are multiple social media chat places. Parler was a cesspool of hate groups who no doubt violated the community standards of the cloud suppliers that serviced it. Tough. Gab has now received the Parler crowd, getting more than 600,000 new accounts per day. It’s overwhelmed and is not yet operational. But when it is, and if it violates the community standards of cloud suppliers, it too will be revoked. Tough noogies – Terms of Service are there for a reason.

        Parler or Gab can elect to own their own servers if they want to continue to be a home base for seditionists and domestic terrorists. Nobody is going to stop them AFAICT. There is already an entire black web economy. But companies like Google, etc are under zero obligation to host people who do not follow their TOS. What in the world is wrong with that? You have to be a mighty pernicious actor to break those TOS. If Googles TOS were unreasonable, you might have a case. But they are not.

        1. “If Googles TOS were unreasonable, you might have a case.”

          The ToSs are usually utterly unreasonable, and are then enforced in an arbitrary and capricious manner that amounts to whether they take a dislike to you.

          The AWS terms of service that Parler allegedly violated include prohibitions on:

          “Content that is … abusive … or otherwise objectionable, …”.

          Is an “otherwise objectionable” clause — when they get to decide what is “objectionable” — in any way reasonable? Again, we’re talking about companies that are close to monopolies.

          Note that the AWS ToSs don’t even mention “violence”.

          1. I believe Parler has similar (and perhaps even more onerous) written terms of service (allowing it to ban any user at any time for any reason). It just never saw fit to enforce them, at least not as against far-right users.

    4. Yes, Angela Merkel thinks that it is properly the governments job to make and enforce rules that restrict speech. From this Irish Times article, Angela Merkel criticises Twitter over Trump ban

      “But Dr Merkel said through her spokesman that the US government should follow Germany’s lead in adopting laws that restrict online incitement, rather than leaving it up to platforms such as Twitter and Facebook to make up their own rules.”

      I’m pretty clear on Merkel’s view about this but unsure of yours, Coel. Do you object on speech restrictions in general or do you object only to entities other than the government restricting free speech?

      1. I live in Germany and speak German fluently. Her point is that it shouldn‘t be private companies deciding who should and who shouldn‘t have a platform, but rather the laws of the land.

        All governments restrict free speech to some extent—-think of the old canard of shouting theatre in a crowded firehouse. One has to weigh up the right to free speech and the right to be safe from loons calling for your death. Each country, for various reasons, has its own way of weighing up.

        Some countries like the USA are far to the as-free-as-possible side. On the other hand, there is more restriction on expression on the part of the state in other areas, such as pornography.

        It does not really need to be said, but she has been very critical of Trump.

        1. This is exactly what I’ve been saying. The internet companies acknowledge the need to regulate content but don’t want to be the ones deciding which content is to be disallowed. It clearly has to be applied to all internet companies evenly and fairly or we’ll get situations like we have now where certain kinds of users are migrating from Twitter to Parler (or wherever) because the content rules and/or enforcement policies are more to their liking. This serves no ones interest.

          The fear of government control of speech is a reasonable one but we have all sorts of restrictions on our behavior via our laws and the justice system. Let’s have a discussion about what new laws we need and create some practical systems to make them work in the internet realm.

          1. If the government were setting the rules on speech do you think Trump would be banned? No matter what the rules are someone has to decide when certain speech breaks the rules. With Trump in charge of the government, somehow I doubt that his speech would do so.

            1. That assumes that Trump is an absolute dictator. Things are bad, but not quite THAT bad yet. The idea that if there are laws then any government can just willingly violate them since they make the laws sounds like an over-the-top libertarian straw-man argument.

              What happened to a government of the people, by the people, and for the people? The government is not some deep state like QAnon loons believe, but is a mirror of society. If that society is rotten, then, well, garbage in, garbage out.

              1. Which is what we’ve seen for the last 4 years. Like I said, someone has to interpret words as to whether they cross the line or not. Trump appointees are good at that. Personally, I’d rather let private companies decide who they let on their servers, rather than force them to allow everyone and have a government agency decide if they are acceptable or not.

              2. Even if the government controls what kind of speech is allowed, and what kind isn’t, it doesn’t mean they get to make that decision on a message-by-message or person-by-person basis. An attempt to do that would probably be unconstitutional. We have the same possibilities with non-speech laws and our courts deal with it. Laws govern behavior and speech is just a kind of behavior.

              3. Well, now I’m confused. If your agency isn’t going to decide on message by message basis, how are they going to know if messages are breaking the law? Who is going to decide, since we’ve already ruled out the host, Twitter or whoever. How would it work?

              4. Obviously, the finest-grained applications of the policy would be administered in software, probably managed by Big Tech. They might also have humans adjudicating the tough and/or prominent cases. Big Tech employees may be able to consult with Federal legal system. Similarly, their AI software may rely on, and inform, government databases. There would need to be an appeal process. This would be analogous to big companies doing their own policing but applying laws created by the government. I’m sure Disneyland has its own security force and some of its own rules but still must apply and follow California and US laws. They can still be held accountable if they apply the laws unfairly, whether generally or in a specific instance.

            2. Certainly not all Trump’s speech would be banned. Calls for violence, certainly. I would like to see outright lies, like those regarding the election, banned also. As I’ve said before, the rules have to reflect who is speaking and how big their audience is. It’s going to be difficult but I really see no choice. Clearly something has to be done and it seems like only government can really do it.

              As to the problem of a particular government setting the rules unfairly, this is an issue for other laws now. Trump tries to force the GOP to pass laws that he wants. Sometimes they are unconstitutional and SCOTUS gets involved. Other times they aren’t passed by Congress. Sometimes they are passed by Congress and, later, when the opposition party gets back in power, they change them again. I can see that happening with respect to speech laws as well. It won’t make everyone happy all the time but, hey, that’s life.

        2. Thank you Sven for clarifying. That was exactly my interpretation of her statement.

          And yeah, I know she has been wonderfully critical of Trump. It’s one of the reasons I like her.

  3. The crucial point is to bar Trump from ever standing for office again. Whether that is a byproduct of impeachment or via a special bill is less crucial, although a special bill would be easier for a future congress to overturn.

    1. I agree. From my reading and listening, the bar on future office has to be specified in the articles of impeachment. I haven’t read this article.

    2. I am going to suggest that having Trump run for the presidency again might actually be a good thing (?!). He could win the primaries and become the Republican candidate, but I don’t see how he could possibly win against any Democratic candidate at this point. A few ifs there, I know.

      1. Mark, I think that would be an extremely dangerous situation, and not one we should ever hope for. If he becomes the Republican candidate then he’s got at least an even chance of winning, no matter who he is — unless there’s been some formal split in the party and the right-wing vote is splitting evenly between two candidates.

      2. > I am going to suggest that having Trump run for the presidency again might actually be a good thing

        I judge a GOP preoccupied with Trump’s cult of personality but without the White House to be far worse than a Republican president free of it. I don’t see any good that will come out of Trump’s refusal to concede the general election and the storming of the Capitol. It’s a catastrophe.

    3. In a sane world, no party would think of nominating someone who, in his only two earlier runs for public office, lost the popular vote by a combined 10 million ballots and, during his four years in office, never had an approval rating above 50%.

      Unfortunately, we do not seem to inhabit such a sane world.

    4. What kind of bill could Congress pass that would prevent Trump from running for President? Qualifications for eligibility are set in the Constitution and a bill couldn’t alter or add to them.

      1. There is no bill or statute congress can pass that would prevent Trump from running for president. Nevertheless, Article I, Section 3 of the US constitution authorizes a judgment of impeachment to include “disqualification to hold and enjoy any Office of honor, Trust or Profit under the United States” against the party impeached.

        My understanding is that, upon an impeachment conviction, the US senate can include such a disqualification provision in the judgment of impeachment based solely on a subsequent straight up-or-down majority vote.

        1. Of course, that’s in the Constitution. I was responding to a comment that said a special bill could be passed to prevent Trump from running.

          1. Any such statute aimed solely at Trump would violate the the constitutional prohibition on “bill[s] of attainder” under Article I, Section 9, Clause 3. And, since it would be punishing Trump for conduct that occurred before the statute was enacted, it would also violate the same Clause’s prohibition on ex post facto law.

  4. Pelosi has already said that she would not send impeachment proceedings to the Senate during Biden’s first 100 days. It’s good that it must go to a vote on the House floor.. Get them on record. Some believe that 45 will primary any R voting “yes”. I’m more hopeful that it means curtains for those voting “no”.

  5. But it’s toothless, for it has no power to force Pence to do anything.

    Shame can be a significant motivating force. As can a desire to not have the worst possible historical reputation.
    The last few days have presented the first evidence I’ve seen of Pence actually having a sense of shame, though I’ve not generally considered him important enough to be worth paying close attention to.

    1. Which, ironically, is the politically worst time for him to get a backbone. He endured four years of buttkissing with the implied reward of being the Donald’s eventual successor. And with 47 of 48 months of buttkissing completed, he does something that causes all of Trump’s followers to label him a traitor and call for his head.

      Not that I mind, though (as long as no real harm comes to the guy – this year, you really can’t tell. But USSS should protect him). He did the right thing in upholding the election results. And the country gains by him not being a viable GOP candidate four years from now. So the end result of his decision to do the right thing has been a win-win for liberals.

      1. Backbones don’t enter into it. Pence had no power to do anything other than open the proverbial envelope. Which makes what Trump did and said even more despicable. Trump damn near got Pence killed with his tweets claiming Pence could’ve overturned the election and his tweet claiming Pence was a coward and decided to do the wrong thing.

      2. But USSS should protect him).

        I thought that Pressies and Vice-pressies got SS minders for life, while senators/ representatives only got minded for a few years after leaving the public eye.
        Class 3 problem (out of “big”, “small” and “someone else’s”).

    1. When it comes to those in the GOP who have ambitions of running for President in 2024, I have more than a “vague feeling” that they don’t want him to run in 2024. If he did run, either as a Republican or Independent, he would ruin the chances of any other Republican winning.

      1. Maybe the best thing for the Republican Party would be for Trump to start his own white-nationalist, know-nothing party, and to take his deplorables with him (though I suspect Trump lacks the political ambition or the capacity for hard work that such an effort would entail).

        Such a move would cost the GOP any chance of winning a national election in the short term, but it would at least give those who remain the opportunity to begin rebuilding a sane center-right political party.

        1. It would be nice but it’s never going to happen. The GOP party organization now contains many of the most destructive of his supporters. They are a glue that binds Trump to the rabble that follows him and are working hard to eject those politicians who are not 100% Trumpish. Seems more feasible for non-Trump conservatives to start their own party or join the Democrats.

          1. Speaking as a Democrat, I’d much prefer they go independent or start a new party. I don’t really want them pulling my party further to the right.

            1. It would help stop it moving too far Left, which is a good thing. Biden has done a pretty good job of that though but, once he’s inaugurated and we’re well past the coup attempt, I expect the Far Left side of the party to increase their volume. After all, Dems will have the presidency and both houses of Congress. The far left will see it as their only real chance to pass far-reaching legislation such as defunding the police, reparations, forced adoption of gender pronouns, institutionalized diversity training, etc. Biden should focus on helping people and not on identity politics.

              1. What you call “far left” I probably call moderate left. I don’t really see much “far left” among Democrats. (Note, I consider wokism orthogonal to the left-right spectrum, for the most part.)

  6. According to several media sources, the Dems are planning to send through the motion to impeach tomorrow (no way Pence will get in any more hot water than he’s already in), but then wait until Biden’s first 100 days have gone by to send it to the Senate for trial. I also hope that they will follow that scenario, as Biden could theoretically accomplish quite a bit in 100 days.

    1. I think that’s a good plan. I heard Biden in a speech today say something like, perhaps the Senate can work half the day nominating my cabinet, and the other half impeachment proceedings. I think he would rather have the scenario you laid out.

  7. Many Republican politicians are continuing with Trump support and the Big Lie about election fraud. Maggie Haberman tweeted this email from Mark Meadows, Trump’s Chief of Staff, endorsing Sandy Smith of NC for Congress:

    Republicans in DC have been compromising with the radical Left for so long, they don’t even see a problem with it. To them, it’s fine if Biden stole the election and takes office.

    These are the same people who refused Trump’s demand for $2000 stimulus checks, but sent billions overseas! No wonder the establishment cheated to get Trump out.

    I don’t support violence in any way. But we need to make the DC establishment listen!

    Capitulating does nothing. The radical Left, like AOC and Pelosi, are talking about “recriminations” against ALL Trump supporters.

  8. I am hoping for a happier ending to this movie, where the spell this man has cast on the Republican party is at last broken. Hopefully, we will see more Republican politicians scrambling to flee the burning ruin of this administration; proclaiming loudly that they were never supporters! This will certainly not happen much during the time frame of these hearings. But in the weeks and months following … we might yet see it.

    1. I expect Susan Collins to come out with a statement any day now. She’s troubled by the president’s behavior but she’s sure he’s learned his lesson.

      1. In the last couple of days, at least one Republican politician, not Susan Collins, has claimed that Trump has learned his lesson and, therefore, shouldn’t resign:

        GOP Senator Insists Trump Shouldn’t Resign: ‘He Touched the Hot Stove’ and Won’t Do It Again

        The depth to which the GOP has sunk is incredible. And the party organizations, the RNC and state GOPs, are the worst of the worst. They are doubling down on the Big Lie every chance they get. This is far from over.

        1. A Senator with such a horrible lack of judgment should never hold that office. At least the metaphor compared him to a 4-year-old, and that’s fitting.

  9. Trump is the most egregious symptom of the illness which is the politics as business/career model. The goal in this model is not to govern justly or effectively, it is to have a successful, profitable career. Republican politicians would’ve dumped Trump a long time ago and the insanity wouldn’t have gotten this bad if those Republican politicians weren’t hoping to ride Trump’s gravy train, tickets to which they must obtain from Trump’s voting base.

    1. I don’t necessarily disagree with your diagnosis by asking this: Would you prescribe term limits as a cure for the illness you describe?

      1. I don’t know. I’m not knowledgeable enough in the area to do any prescribing. But the diagnosis seems clear. Many, many politicians are there not to govern but to milk their constituents.

      2. Term limits would make it even easier for the 1% to buy politicians. The Koch brothers and other billionaires have pushed for term limits for a while now. Like the Tea Party, the movement for term limits was started by the billionaires, but made to look like a grass roots movement.

        1. I absolutely agree. Term limits are bad for democracy in that they systematically remove institutional knowledge from lawmakers leaving it all in the hands of lobbyists. It also removes any accountability back to the voters. There is a reason why term limits has been a feature of Republican political rhetoric for a long time.

          1. I think term limits are a bad idea too, but I do think there should be term limits for SCOTUS judges…especially now that the judiciary is politically motivated.

              1. 18 works out nice. With 9 judges that allows us to schedule it out so that the most senior judge retires in the August of every second odd year (2021, 2023, etc..), which lets them retire after a full court session is finished, before the next one starts, and avoids election years. With a known schedule, the President could even line up the next candidate and Senate approval before the retirement date, so that the new judge can start work before the next session begins (Senate shennanigans notwithstanding).

            1. Some other developed countries, and indeed some of the states of the USA, have an age limit or mandatory retirement age for judges. I would support such a limit for our SCOTUS justices, perhaps mandatory retirement at the age of 75.

  10. WITH an eventually successful impeachment,
    THEN a d d i t i o n a l l y there will be … … thus:

    … … LOSS of $200,000.00 .annual lifetime. pension
    … … LOSS of $1,000,000.00 .annual lifetime. travel allowance
    … ….LOSS of .lifetime. Secret Service detail

    ‘Tis our, the taxpayers’, dosh. Let alone, for
    our protection FROM, specifically, his candidacy
    within any future high – office elections !


  11. The House absolutely should not wait a while with sending impeachment to the Senate. The more days pass since the insurrection, the more Republicans will want to forget it and move on. Two-thirds of the Senate need to vote to convict so the Dems need Republican senators. If the Senate does not convict, Trump will run again in 2024 and the country will be screwed. 74 million voted for Trump this year, with the background of covid and the bad economy, there’s zero guarantee that Trump doesn’t win in 2024 again. Only impeachment and conviction can prevent Trump from running again and save this nation from fascism.

    1. I agree. They’re already starting to make noises about needing to move on in order to heal, that we need to unite rather than accuse in order to heal. And, of course, that you’re the bad guy who hates unity and healing if you call for accountability.

  12. A second impeachment would be educational for the country, setting out a clear record of Trump’s
    steadily more unhinged statements and the actions of his most excitable followers. But I hope he is
    not barred from running for public office. If his infantile mentality continues to run amok in the
    Republican Party, that will constitute an invaluable aid to the Democratic Party. If he snatches a GOP nomination in 2024 (perhaps with Rudy Giuliani or Igor Fruman as VP?), so much the better. And it would be even better (and more likely) if he runs in 2024 under the banner of his own fragment of Republican Party, perhaps to be called the GOMAGAP. The likely disintegration of the GOP will be a great help to the prospects of democracy (small d) in the USA.

  13. An interesting third way suggested by historian Eric Foner in the WP today. Invoke section 3 of the fourteenth amendment.

    No person shall be a Senator or Representative in Congress, or elector of President and Vice President, or hold any office, civil or military, under the United States, or under any State, who, having previously taken an oath, as a member of Congress, or as an officer of the United States, or as a member of any State legislature, or as an executive or judicial officer of any State, to support the Constitution of the United States, shall have engaged in insurrection or rebellion against the same, or given aid or comfort to the enemies thereof. But Congress may by a vote of two-thirds of each House, remove such disability.

    It was meant to keep confederate rebels out of office but it fits tRump to a T.

    1. Rep. Cori Bush (D-Mo.) just introduced H.Res. 25. It would, under Section 3 of the 14th Amendment, investigate and expel the GOP members of Congress who attempted to overturn the election and incited a white supremacist attack. And the chair of the U.S. House Committee on Homeland Security, Bennie Thompson (D-Miss.), wants to invoke Section 3 against GOP Senators Ted Cruz and Josh Hawley.

  14. If Trump goes on the wholesale pardoning and self-pardoning binge he’s reported to be considering (and especially if, heaven forfend, it were to include anyone involved in the attack on the Capitol), it might make it more difficult for senate Republicans to vote to acquit at his impeachment trial — though hoping that senate Republicans might see their way clear to take the highroad regarding Donald Trump has thus far been a sure path to disappointment.

  15. The 25th Amendment is literally made for people who are too physically or mentally impaired to be president. The way they are suggesting to use it is unconstitutional. That is the real coup.

      1. Is it ethical to diagnose someone with a mental illness when you have never or spoken or seen them in person? I suspect that he is a germaphobe.

        1. It’s unethical for professional psychologists or psychiatrists to diagnose somebody without examining them, and I’ve written about it (some mental health professionals disagree on that, though). It’s fine for laypeople to guess about what ails him mentally, and plenty of people have done it.

  16. CNN has reported that the FBI has issued a warned that there may be armed protests at all 50 state capitols as well as D.C. I trust that all 50 governors are taking appropriate action. I am very concerned that the police and National Guard that will be called out for protection may be riddled with Trump supporters. How will they act? The violence of last Wednesday may be a prelude to much worse. It is most distressing that most of the Trump enablers, in and out of government, have shown no remorse. The wet dream of right-wing propagandists (including white religious theocrats) in social media may be coming to fruition – the crumbling of American democracy since, as I’ve pointed out many times before, they don’t care about it. White identity politics has always been the main threat to the Republic. This can come to pass if military like forces are necessary to patrol American cities to keep order.

  17. The chorus of many Tr*mpers that I’ve come across over the last 3yrs has been that he’s great because their 401k is doing great. Now, from various angles, the chorus seems to be saying that he’s bad for business. (Nat’l Assn of Manufacturers, for one.) He has finally become toxic where it empirically matters the most.

    The line from Chinatown comes to mind.

    1. Some say that, rather than the real reasons, because they know that it’s a socially acceptable answer. Similarly, some will say that they always vote Republican, always have and always will. They think it let’s them off the hook.

      Trump is bad for business. While he inherited a rising economy and didn’t screw it up in his first three years, his failed pandemic response has cost trillions. He also added $4 trillion to the deficit. I suspect the cost of his trade policies has not yet been fully realized. The benefits promised have largely not arrived and people have paid more for goods in tariffs. Trade deals were discarded that probably would have raised all participants. Finally, business hates the uncertainty Trump injects into everything.

  18. I think Trump’s dereliction of duty in not calling out the National Guard was equally reprehensible and ought to have been included in the Articles of Impeachment at the very least as a Separatim esto.

  19. This rush to impeachment — or even Amendment 25 — doesn’t look good for the Democrats. Trump has fewer than 9 days to go before he’s out, and this push looks like kicking a man when he’s down: petty, spiteful, vindictive and vicious. Just what are the Dems afraid that Trump can do in less than 9 days? Declare war? Issue pardons to people they don’t like? De-classify documents they’d rather keep hidden? The Big Tech companies’ attempts to muzzle him suggest the last possibility. What does he know that the Dems don’t want him to say in public?

    1. Your list includes some of the things that Trump is likely to do in his remaining days in office but you left out the most important one: to punish him for incitement of insurrection. This is the one article of impeachment in fact. His incitement has to have consequences. Oh, you left out one other thing. One of the punishments is preventing him from ever holding public office again.

    2. So your position is, hey, let’s just give Trump a pass on the whole debacle?

      The US Capitol was attacked, and five people died, because he summonsed his diehard supporters for a “wild” time in DC, whipped them into a frenzy at a rally, then sent them up to Capitol Hill … and, oh well, what-ever — been nice knowin’ ya, bonne chance & enjoy your next 18 holes on the course at Mar-a-Lago?

      That‘s what you consider a condign outcome?

  20. I’m not sure Trump will be intellectually qualified to run again in 4 years as I think he has Alzheimer’s, which is highly heritable (his Dad died of it at about his age) and he shows some signs.
    I’m more afraid of those idiot sons Uday and Qusay or Ivanka running. Or my personal nightmare scenario: Ted Cruz.

      1. I should think most of all Ted Cruz’s own wife. Trump calls her ugly and threatens to “spill the beans” on her troubles in the tabloids during the 2016 GOP primary campaign; Cruz makes a big, cynical show at the time of calling Trump a “coward,” a “liar,” and a “narcissist” for doing so; then spends the next four years sucking up to Trump as one of his biggest flunkies.

        How Heidi handled that must’ve made for some interesting times on the home front.

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