Tag Archives: House Democrats

Has an impeachment ‘inquiry’ commenced?

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerrold Nadler are at odds.

Pelosi doesn’t want to impeach Donald Trump; Nadler wants to proceed now with impeachment.

It looks as though Nadler is winning this argument. He appears to have commenced what has been called an “impeachment inquiry.” That means ostensibly that the Democratic caucus is going to examine whether to launch a full impeachment proceeding against Trump. They think they have the goods. Maybe they do.

But wait a second. If the House decides it has enough to impeach Trump over obstruction of justice in connection with the Russian hack of our 2016 election, then the bar gets really high.

A House impeachment is the easy part. Democrats need a simple majority to impeach. Then the Senate gets to put the president on trial. They need 67 (out of 100) votes to convict the president. The GOP occupies 53 Senate seats. They are as firmly in Trump’s corner as Democrats are as firmly intent on giving him the boot.

An impeachment “inquiry” looks to me like an exercise in futility for those who want to remove the president from office.

I personally don’t think it’s enough just to say Donald Trump has been impeached. I want him out of office, too. Impeachment, though, isn’t going to do the job.

Unless someone drops a serious bomb that persuades Republicans they are standing with a crook.

POTUS ‘disagrees’ with ‘Send her back!’ chant? Oh, please

Who in the name of gullible voters do you think you are kidding, Mr. President?

You say now that you “disagree” with the chant in North Carolina of those faithful followers of yours to “Send her back!” You say you weren’t “happy with the message they gave” to U.S. Rep. Ilhan Omar, the congresswoman from Minnesota who came to this country as a pre-teen from Somalia and this past year got elected to the U.S. House of Representatives.

Well, Mr. President, allow me this rejoinder: Shut your foul mouth!

I didn’t see you make any effort at that campaign rally in North Carolina to quiet the chant. I didn’t see you seek to restore any semblance of order and decorum in that crowd. I did not see you address that chant directly once the mob of supporters quieted down.

So now you expect the rest of us believe that you were displeased with the chant? That you were unhappy that your followers were merely picking up on those racist-sounding Twitter chants suggesting Omar and her three “Squad” members — all progressive first-year Democratic congresswomen — could return to their country of origin if they are so unhappy in this country?

Nor did you, I hasten to add, remind the chanters in the mob that the three other House members are native-born Americans. All of them, even the naturalized citizen from Somalia, are as American as you and I are.

Or that they’re all U.S. citizens and are duly elected members of the legislative branch of the federal government.

Knock off the lying, Mr. President.

I do not believe for an instant that you “disagreed” with the chant.

You, sir, are a pathological liar.

Impeachment moves closer to edge of the table

A Texas Democratic member of Congress, Al Green of Houston, filed a motion to impeach Donald J. Trump. The U.S. House of Representatives voted today on Rep. Green’s motion and, to no one’s surprise, turned it down.

What does it mean? To my way of thinking — and I am swaying in the growing gale-force winds on this matter — it looks to me that Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s calculation that impeachment is a loser for Democrats.

Ninety-five Democrats voted for motion to impeach. It is far from the 218 votes needed for the House to impeach this president. Democrats occupy 230 House seats, so the bar remains quite high.

House Republicans remain solidly behind the president … for reasons that baffle me, given the evidence that Donald Trump has broken the law while serving as president. But that’s another story.

Pelosi can count votes. She knows the House Democratic caucus isn’t totally lined up with the impeachment faction within its ranks. She also knows that the Republican-controlled Senate isn’t going to convict the president of any “high crimes and misdemeanors” that the House would bring forth in an impeachment.

Green’s impeachment motion was based solely on the racist tweets that Trump launched against the four congresswomen with whom he is engaged in that ridiculous feud. That is a non-starter.

Now, there might be more grist to chew on after former special counsel Robert Mueller III talks next week to the House Judiciary and Intelligence committees. However, I am not taking that to the bank, either, given the GOP caucus’s stubborn resistance to looking analytically at what Mueller dropped on our laps at the end of his 22-month probe into alleged collusion with Russians and obstruction of justice.

I am thinking at this moment that the best way — perhaps the only way — to rid the nation of Donald Trump is to remove him from office at the 2020 presidential election.

But … that could change.

Pelosi knows how Boehner felt?

She likely would dislike the comparison, but I’ll make it anyway: House Speaker Nancy Pelosi is feeling some of the pain that was inflicted on one of her predecessors, former Speaker John Boehner.

Indeed, Pelosi handed the gavel over to Boehner when Republicans took control of the House in 2011; she was speaker during the previous congressional session, but the Democrat had to surrender her speakership to the GOP and to Boehner.

What happened to Boehner? He ran into the TEA Party buzz saw that made his speakership a form of holy hell. He eventually quit the House and disappeared from public life.

Now it’s Pelosi’s turn to deal with renegade elements within her political party. The culprits this time are the likes of Reps. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Ilhan Omar and Rashida Tlaib. They are the progressives in her Democratic caucus who don’t want to wait any longer before launching impeachment proceedings against Donald Trump. They’ve seen enough and want action … now!

Pelosi ain’t budging. She doesn’t want to impeach the president, at least not yet. She wants more evidence. She wants some Republican buy-in, but so far she isn’t getting it.

Will this intraparty fight doom her speakership the way the GOP’s internal struggle sent Speaker Boehner heading for the door? Oh, I doubt it. However, it does go to show that divergent views do have this way of causing sleeplessness among political leaders, no matter which side of the aisle they do business.

Impeachment talk has me rattled

I am willing to give you a pass if you believe I am foursquare, solidly and irrevocably behind impeaching the president of the United States, Donald John Trump.

Except that I am not.

Really. This impeachment discussion is giving me serious heartburn.

I am torn into itty-bitty pieces over this matter. I am terribly conflicted and I am anxious — yes, anxious! — for some sort of resolution.

On one hand, I have supported U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s notion that the House shouldn’t impeach Trump just yet. She is seeking patience. She wants more information to come forth. She well might be stalling, waiting for a presidential election a little more than a year from now to “settle” this matter for her … with Trump losing his re-election effort.

On the other hand, we have those among House Democrats who say it’s not about politics. It’s about “the Constitution,” they say. They argue that it is their “duty” to ensure that the president is “held accountable” and that “no one, not even the president, is above the law.” They are hellbent on launching what they call an “impeachment inquiry,” which is another way of saying they want to commence impeachment hearings.

What if the House impeaches the president? He will stand forever as one who has been impeached. Trump would become the third president to have been impeached by the House. Never mind what the Senate might do. Senators led by gutless Republicans seemingly aren’t going to convict Trump of any of the complaints brought to him. Many of us see the danger that this individual poses to the country. The Senate GOP leadership is ignoring it, to their everlasting shame!

Does the president run for re-election on the basis of his being an impeached president? How does that play out here among the rest of us in Flyover Country. Well, you know that my mind was made up when the 2016 election results came in: I have wanted him gone since the beginning of his presidency. But I digress.

Another downside of impeachment? You can kiss any type of reform legislation goodbye for the remainder of Trump’s term. The president and the House will have declared war on each other. Immigration reform? Climate change legislation? Infrastructure plans? Hah! Forget about it!

And what in the name of good governance will happen if hell freezes over and Trump is re-elected?

Good grief!

I am on the fence, folks. I cannot get my footing anywhere near stable enough to declare either “yes” or “no” on impeaching this clown.

Someone needs to pass the Pepto.

Pelosi masks her apparent frustration … but the mask is slipping

Nancy Pelosi must be the most frustrated politician in Washington, D.C. She is the speaker of the House of Representatives that likely has the votes to impeach the president of the United States.

But she doesn’t want the House to walk down that path. Why? Because she is taking the long view.

That brings me to the frustration she must be feeling.

Democrats control the House, but Republicans control the Senate. The House can impeach Trump with a simple majority vote. The Senate, which would put Trump on trial for “high crimes and misdemeanors,” must clear a much higher bar; it needs a two-thirds vote to convict the president on all charges. That’s 67 out of 100 senators; Republicans comprise 53 members, which means more than a dozen GOP senators need to believe that Trump is guilty of those crimes.

Frustration? Yeah! Do ya think?

Pelosi is trying to stiff-arm members of her Democratic House caucus, those who want at the very least to launch what they’re calling an “impeachment inquiry,” which is code for actually impeaching the president.

Pelosi’s frustration surely rests in the comparative rhetoric that came from Republicans in 1998 when they impeached a Democratic president, Bill Clinton. What did the president do to warrant impeachment? He lied to a grand jury about that seedy relationship he had with what’s-her-name. He, um, obstructed justice, in GOP members’ eyes.

Many of those formerly fervent pro-impeachment Republicans are in office today. They are saying that despite the mountain of evidence compiled by special counsel Robert Mueller, that Donald Trump is “exonerated” of obstruction charges. Mueller and his investigative team found at least 10 instances where the president sought to impede investigations into the Russian attack on our electoral system in 2016. Mueller, though, said he couldn’t indict the president because of a Department of Justice policy prohibiting charging a sitting president with a crime.

He left the issue of determining culpability  up to Congress!

Are we clear on that? He didn’t exonerate, clear, declare the president to be innocent of anything!

Senate Republicans, though, aren’t having any of it. They’re standing behind one of their own, the man who occasionally visits the Oval Office.

I’m tellin’ ya, that is what I believe is the source of Speaker Pelosi’s supreme frustration. I also believe the speaker’s patience is wearing thin. She did say she’d prefer to see Trump “in prison” rather than merely being impeached.

I’m hoping she stands firm for as long as she can. Senate Republicans need to be made to understand what many of us believe already: that the president of the United States has committed criminal acts.

Put the brakes on impeachment

It’s getting hard for me to keep pushing on the brake pedal while the governmental vehicle keeps moving toward impeaching Donald J. Trump.

However, I have to insist that calls to launch immediate impeachment proceedings against the president are, at best, premature. At worst, they might be tantamount to a political death wish for those who oppose Donald Trump’s role as president of the United States.

The House of Representatives likely has the votes to impeach the Idiot in Chief. The Senate does not have the votes — or the courage –to convict him of any sort of “high crime or misdemeanor.”

The man appears to have at least attempted to obstruct justice in the Russia probe conducted by special counsel Robert Mueller, whose report chronicles a systematic effort to derail the probe. It well might be impeachable.

However, the congressional wise men and women — led by Speaker Nancy Pelosi — are seeking to stop the impeachment talk until Congress does its own due diligence and investigates further what Mueller has concluded.

Pelosi knows the score. She can count votes. She understands that impeachment is a two-step process. The first step is an easy one. The second one, the Senate trial, requires a huge leap over the two-thirds rule requiring conviction.

Republicans still comprise a majority in the Senate. Does anyone really believe the GOP caucus has the stones to convict a president who has abused the awesome power of his office to end a serious investigation into the conduct of his presidential campaign?

It won’t happen. Impeachment is a non-starter. At least for now.

Listen to your elders, Democratic Party upstarts

U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi is as shrewd a political operative as there is anywhere at any level of government.

So, when she seeks to toss cold water on talk of impeaching Donald Trump, the upstarts within her Democratic Party caucus in the House need to take heed.

She wants to get to the whole truth behind the continuing allegations that the president sought to obstruct justice in connection with special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation into alleged collusion with Russians who attacked our electoral system in 2016.

Pelosi also knows that no matter how fervent impeachment talk might get in the House, it will go nowhere if the Senate doesn’t convict the president of “high crimes and misdemeanors.”

Mueller’s report does not “exonerate” Trump of obstruction, as the president contends. It lays bare a whole range of activities that could be construed as obstructing justice. He just lacked sufficient evidence to file a formal criminal complaint. Mueller left it up to Congress to take up corrective matters as it sees fit.

The Democratic firebrands want to launch impeachment proceedings immediately. Pelosi is trying to tamp down that talk.

“Whether currently indictable or not, it is clear that the President has, at a minimum engaged in highly unethical and unscrupulous behavior which does not bring honor to the office he holds,” Pelosi wrote Monday in a letter to House Democrats.

She’s not ready to sign on to an impeachment proceeding, however. The speaker wants to collect more information.

I am one of those voters who believes impeachment won’t work. My preferred method of getting Donald Trump removed from office is to defeat him on Election Day 2020.

Having declared that belief, if lightning strikes and hell freezes over, there could be enough Senate Republicans who might hitch themselves to an impeachment hay wagon. Were that to happen, then by all means, get rid of Trump.

Until then, though, I stand with Speaker Pelosi’s call to conduct more congressional inquiries into what Robert Mueller has revealed before getting anything close to talking seriously about impeaching the president.

Impeachment is a loser . . . at least for the time being

Elizabeth Warren needs to shake the rocks out of her noggin.

The Massachusetts senator and candidate for the Democratic presidential nomination thinks the House of Representatives needs to commence impeachment proceedings against Donald Trump now.

Don’t wait, she said. Do it now. Immediately if not sooner.

Warren is aghast at the dishonesty, duplicity, deception and dissembling that special counsel Robert Mueller revealed in the Trump administration. It all starts rotting at the top, according to Warren.

So, let’s get on with it, she said.

Wait a minute. I know Sen. Warren is aware of this, but impeaching a president carries a huge political gamble. Is she really saying that she believes the Senate would convict Donald Trump of unspecified “high crimes and misdemeanors” if the House actually were to impeach him? Let’s get real.

I, too, am flabbergasted by what Mueller has revealed in his 448-page report. He didn’t find evidence of collusion between the Trump campaign and Russian election hackers in 2016. He also declined to clear Trump of obstructing justice, saying Congress has the authority to act. Some of the language Mueller used in that report is scathing in its tone.

Let us face a hard reality, though, shall we?

The House can impeach with a simple majority. No sweat, given that Democrats now hold a comfortable majority in that chamber. But then the bar gets a whole lot higher in the Senate, which needs a two-thirds majority to convict the president of any impeachable offense. Republicans still hold a majority in the 100-seat Senate. Does anyone seriously believe that enough Republicans will abandon the president and join Democrats in convicting him? Pardon me while I laugh out loud.

House Democratic elders, led by Speaker Nancy Pelosi, understand the reality of impeaching this president. The House could approve articles of impeachment, but the current Senate isn’t going to finish the job.

The political recourse rests at the ballot box. It’s that simple. To send the president packing, Democrats have to nominate a candidate who can make the case that the nation deserves far better than it has gotten, according to Robert Mueller’s finding.

American voters will take care of the rest.

Rep. Meadows says he’s no racist, however . . .

There goes that dadgum social media again, producing evidence that people in public life say things they ought to regret.

U.S. Rep. Mark Meadows, a North Carolina Republican, bristled badly Wednesday when fellow House Oversight and Reform Committee member Rashida Tlaib, a Democrat, criticized him for bringing out an African-American staffer to prove he is “not a racist.” She thought that was a “racist” thing to do.

Meadows, a member of the conservative Freedom Caucus wing of the GOP conference in the House, demanded that Tlaib’s comments be “stricken from the record.” Committee Chairman Elijah Cummings, who is African-American, defended Meadows, calling him his “best friend.” Tlaib apologized for any incorrect inference that might have been drawn from her comments.

But then . . .

A video showed up. It is of Meadows campaigning for Congress in 2012. He talks about the “wrong direction” the country is headed under President Obama, the nation’s first African-American president.

Then he said it is time to send Obama “home, to Kenya or wherever it is . . . ”

Birtherism, anyone? Hmm?

Well, take a look at the link I am attaching to this post. The video is in there. Yep, it’s Rep. Meadows making the Kenya reference.

Check it out

I’m not going to call Meadows a racist. Just listen. You can make your own decision.