ChrisMaverick dotcom

on Donald Trump and the Last Days of America…

Big Trumper is Watching

About two weeks before the 2016 presidential election I was talking to my mother on the phone and I said something to the effect of “I am looking forward to seeing exactly how Donald Trump will bring about the downfall of America once he wins. I remember her telling me “that’s not funny. Don’t even joke like that!” And then I told her I wasn’t — I study contemporary cultural phenomena through media. That’s like my job and stuff. It’s not like I WANTED him to win. I just saw that he was likely going to and there wasn’t anything I could do about that, so I might as well make my peace with it and try to make the best of it. I’ve never watched a civilization fall from the inside before! When was I going to get another chance like that. I figured it’d be educational if nothing else. I made similar comments to other people, all of whom thought I was joking… you know… until he won.

So now we’re here.

Today is day 124 of the Trump presidency. Not even I could imagine that it would go THIS fast. I mean, this has been a textbook lesson in how NOT to be president. And I don’t mean ideologically. It’s not really surprising that I disagree with the Donald on political levels or basic ethics or whether or not it’s ok to drown kittens for fun (Note, I have no actual proof that the president likes to drown kittens for fun… but you know, I think one can just assume). What I’m saying is that I have a hard time believing that someone could even TRY to get into as big a mess as he has in less than 125 days like ON PURPOSE. It’s kind of remarkable really.

Last night, Steph and I were watching CNN as their talking heads were discussing the president recently deciding to lawyer up on the Russia investigation (something that he frankly should have done like weeks ago). Steph asked me where do I think all of this is going to go. She suggested maybe I write a blog about it. The problem is that that for once, I have no fucking idea!!! I’m kinda lost on it. Seriously.

So I’m looking at this as a cultural critic, as a historian, as a sociologist and… we’re just sort of in unchartered territory.

No matter where you fall on the political spectrum, it should be pretty clear that the administration is having some problems right now — some very serious problems. Even if you are a conservative — even if you are a huge Trump supporter. I’m going to go out on a  limb for a second (just a second) and give El Donaldo the benefit of the doubt and say “innocent until proven guilty.” Fine. But the problem is, for the last few weeks he’s been acting a lot like a dude who is guilty… like not even a real dude. He’s acting like the kind of supervillain you put in a really really over the top cartoon for six-year-olds where you want to make it unquestionably obvious that you’re talking about a bad guy. And then the six year old watches the cartoon and says “what the fuck? This is ridiculous! That guy is kinda over the top. What do you think I am? Four!?!?”

Because Trump is that guy. He’s a four year old super villain. Have you ever walked in the kitchen to find a four-year-old, face and hands covered in chocolate, who suddenly says, without even being asked “Mommy, I didn’t steal any cookies!!!” and so you say “Did you steal a cookie?” and the four year old says “No!!!!” and then takes the cookie jar and smashes it to the ground so as to cover up the evidence, completely forgetting that the whole thing could have been avoided if he’d simply wiped his face and hands off in the first place and the kept his big fat mouth shut? Yeah, that’s Donald Trump. And to not see that what he’s doing right now looks like the behavior of a four-year-old super villain, you’d have to be a fucking idiot.

And therein lies the problem… because as you might have noticed, Herr Donald and many of his supporters are fucking idiots.

And idiots don’t really behave logically. I wrote a while back that one of the flaws people make in their arguments is that they expect to beat Trump supporters with logic. Except that doesn’t work, because the Trump supporter isn’t interested in your “facts.” And that’s what’s making figuring out how this will shake out a little tricky.

Let’s take a look at some previous disgraced presidents. The most recent president where impeachment was really on the table was Bill Clinton. Clinton was impeached, but was not indicted so stayed in office (impeachment doesn’t mean what most people think it means…). During the impeachment proceedings it was reported that Clinton and Gore had a transition team in place to guarantee minimal interruption of government during the transfer of power. If Clinton had been removed, I think Gore would have been fine. There would have been some Republican pushback towards Gore, but really, at the end of the day, Clinton’s main problem was not keeping his dick in his pants, and Gore could reasonably say he had nothing to do with it. He would have been fine.

If we move back a little longer we have e Nixon. When impeachment was on the table with Nixon, he had the good sense to resign in an attempt to protect his legacy as much as possible and the integrity of the rest of the Republican party. Agnew had already resigned previously for a different scandal, and so Gerald Ford, who had only been appointed vice-president nine months earlier basically ascended into the presidency. It ruined his political career. Even though he was confirmed as vice-president by a senate vote of 97-3, he basically had no real legitimacy in the office because the people had never actually chosen him. He wasn’t able to accomplish much and was beat out of the presidency by a peanut farmer two years later.

The most contentious president before those two would have been the very first Republican president (as they love to point out), Abraham Lincoln. And his presidency ripped the union in two. And of course his successor, after he was assassinated, was Andrew Johnson, the only other president (besides Clinton) to be impeached (and who very narrowly avoided indictment).

So how do we apply those lessons of the past to the Trump administration? First, we have to think about succession. I think a lot of people really think that if the Russia investigation goes the right way and everything comes out, this will invalidate the 2016 presidency and somehow magically Hillary Clinton will become president. Or, if not her… somehow we will impeach and indict enough people down the line that we will eventually get to a democrat. These people are wrong. There is literally no one in the presidential line of succession right now that could be considered a liberal. So just take that off the table. The Constitution has no mechanism for redoing an election we don’t like. So in the event that Trump is removed in some way, then we end up with President Pence.

But that’s problematic. Because this particular case isn’t really about Trump just being ideologically unpopular (like Lincoln) or even breaking a law (like Clinton and Johnson). The question in the minds of the people is whether or not his election was valid in the first place. If it is somehow determined that the Russians totally reversed the course of our election but that Trump had no knowledge of it, then there’s no real reason to impeach him (well, there might be, because of the obstruction of justice that he’s done since then… or who knows what else…. but I mean for the initial case) and yet the optics of what happened will render his entire presidency completely illegitimate in the mind of the people. It will hurt the office. It will hurt the Republican party. A normal chief executive in place might see fit to simply resign for the good of the office… but Trump isn’t that guy. That’s just never going to happen. And his insistence on fighting it is going to make things worse.

On the other hand, if Trump is somehow removed from office (either by Congress because he’s found to be actively in collusion or if by some miracle he steps down in order to protect the office) that leaves Pence. As far as I can tell from the information available to the public Pence had nothing to do with any of this and so there’s no good reason to impeach him. And this is good for him. The best he can kind of hope for is Gerald Ford presidency. If Trump goes down, he’d need to distance himself as much as possible. It is better to be a dupe than a co-conspirator. But can he reasonably expect the people to support him if he ascends to the presidency as the guy who was too stupid to know that there was an international conspiracy going on around him?

Of course if by some means Pence goes down too… then that means that Ryan can take the office. And that may be the best thing for the presidency (and the Republican party) at this point. There’s no doubt that he had nothing to do with any of this. And that would be fine. Again, this is the Ford situation… a president with no mandate and tenuous acceptance by the people. This is where Nixon stepped aside, Agnew was already gone, and Ford got to rebuild. Nixon, for all his problems, respected the office.

But Trump…

See, the thing with Trump is that he isn’t actually a Republican. And he doesn’t really care about the Presidency. He cares a lot about BEING THE PRESIDENT. This was  always about winning. Like, I’m not making that up. I’m not interpreting his actions. He specifically said that. He likes to win. He wanted to win. This was all a game to him. And the way he won was by convincing people that winning the game was the only thing that mattered. Right now, the presidency is just a football game, and he’s not going down without a fight. This is why he is able to brazenly say that he doesn’t want to be presidential. This is why he is able to come right out and tell Lester Holt and the Russian ambassadors that he fired Flynn in order to impede the Russia investigation. The optics don’t matter here. All that matters is continuing to win the game for as long as possible by playing by his own rules and Kobayashi Maruing the shit out everything.

Remember when Trump said during the debate that he might not accept the election results if he didn’t win? He was going to “keep us in suspense.” Well he sure as fuck isn’t going to accept an investigation that says that his presidency is illegitimate…whether he is implicated or not. He’s not going to just step down. And if he is forcibly removed… well, he’s cultivated a following that is just not going to accept it. Anyone who hasn’t turned their backs on him by now, simply isn’t going to. It doesn’t matter if he “shoots someone in the middle of Fifth Avenue.” If he is impeached and indicted, he could conceivably rip this country in two. And he is the kind of person who will do so simply because with no other options left, it would be the only win left.

Hillary supporters have taken to referring to themselves as “the Resistance” in the time since election. But I don’t think most people really think about what that ultimately means. There is no easy endgame here. The Constitution has no “asshole provision” to fix this. And for all the comparisons to Watergate, this hasn’t really quite been the same thing. We’re moving past the realm of ending a presidency and into something that is a lot closer to toppling a regime. And historically, regime changes aren’t… pleasant. About 150 years ago, Lincoln’s presidency led to a civil war. It was a convenient civil war; there was a clear ideological difference that was cleanly mappable to some nice geographic boundaries. There was governmental support on each side. Civil wars don’t work like that in the 21st century. They begin with civil uprising in much more diverse pocketed communities with no clear boundaries. They start on the internet and result in what is frankly much closer to rioting and terrorist attacks. This is what the “peaceful transition of power” between presidencies is meant to prevent. If there really is a “Resistance” then we need to be prepared for some fallout. Some really unpleasant fallout with no clear precedent in American history.

But you know… the next season of House of Cards drops on Netflix in a week… and I’m kinda looking forward to that…  I just feel like it’s going to be kind of boring and simplistic. Yep… that’s where we are.

174 comments for “on Donald Trump and the Last Days of America…

  1. avatar
    May 24, 2017 at 11:49 am

    Eh, people are over-thinking this. Impeachment and a Senate conviction are very unlikely: you need 2/3 of the Senate, and even with a massive wave of Democrats in 2018 you’re not going to get that. There just aren’t enough Senate seats up for re-election. The right thing to do is try like hell to win a majority in the House (and a majority in the Senate would be nice). Then just put roadblocks in Trump’s way. It was the Republican playbook during the Obama administration and it worked well. As you said, given the line of succession, it’s not clear Democrats (or progressives) should _want_ to remove Trump — he might be replaced by someone competent. A better strategy: use the next year and a half to whip up anger and resentment toward Trump. Win the 2018 midterms. Develop a strong candidate for 2020. Win the Presidency. It’s a political solution, and it takes time and work, but it’s the only solution that accomplishes constructive goals and might be sustainable. Now Trump might be able to do a lot of damage between now and then, but so far his policy-execution chops seem pretty weak, and if he spends all his time reacting to scandals and playing golf at Mar-a-lago he probably won’t suddenly become a Machiavellian power player.

    • avatar
      May 24, 2017 at 11:56 am

      Oh I agree with pretty much all of that. Except “just winning the house” is harder that it sounds. Particularly mid-term.

      I do agree that it’s a better strategy for the democrats to keep him in office and obstruct him than to deal with Pence or Ryan.

      But I’m actually not super concerned with the democrats in this case. They have no power right now and nothing to really do with it. We’re at a point where I’d argue it’s more about Trump vs. the RNC. And he’s kind of forcing their hands. They don’t want to go down with him. So depending on how the investigation turns out and WHEN they could arguably have no choice but to at least initiate impeachment proceedings…

      (more on your comment below)

    • avatar
      May 24, 2017 at 12:20 pm

      Well, that’s the point of an independent counsel. It buys the Republicans time and it gives them a convenient cover. Before, when they were in charge of the investigation, they had to answer questions and would be complicit if anything awful came out. Now they can just say “well, let’s not rush to judgment — give the independent counsel time to work.” Which could take _years_. And, if anything does come out, they aren’t on record “supporting” the President, just “reserving judgment”. Much more defensible down the line.

    • avatar
      May 24, 2017 at 12:28 pm

      right. I think the independent counsel was a direct result of him forcing the hand. If he’d just ignored the whole thing and let Comey investigate til his heart was content, everything would have been fine. Congress had straight up said they weren’t going to push the justice dept to appoint independent counsel.

      But Trump can’t abide the thought of ever looking like he’s losing anything. He doesn’t understand shades of gray. So he took down Comey and pretty much set the rest of this in motion.

  2. avatar
    May 24, 2017 at 11:52 am

    (Impeachment in the House might still happen, even if only as political theater like what happened with Clinton.)

    • avatar
      May 24, 2017 at 12:00 pm

      Right… exactly… And much like in Clinton’s case, that would normally be survivable. Even if he lost… just because it’s almost impossible for him to be removed by the senate unless there was incontrovertible evidence that he knowingly colluded… and if that comes to pass… we’ve got a world of trouble and none of this will matter.

      It’s more that once we cross the bridge to impeachment proceedings, this WON’T be the same as with Clinton, because Trump isn’t Clinton. He hates losing, so rather than just let the proceedings go and trust in the process, he’s likely to make things worse… and the worse it gets the more we’re sort of forced to move towards the divisive situations I outlined.

    • avatar
      May 24, 2017 at 12:07 pm

      Even from a schadenfreude perspective it’s almost better to keep him in office, but as a miserable, unpopular, ineffective President. As far as I can tell he hates thinking about policy or (weirdly, given his self-narrative) negotiating. He just likes giving speeches to adoring crowds, and, as you say, “winning”. Take away the winning and the adoring crowds, and make him sit there. Not having fun. Under constant attack and criticism. Until he loses an election straight up and gets written up in history as one of the worst presidents we’ve ever had.

    • avatar
      May 24, 2017 at 12:25 pm

      Oh, I totally agree. I would 10000% rather have an incompetent Trump in the big chair than to replace him with Pence. There’s no doubt about that even a little for me. (I know that the liberal/progressive rank and file, want to see him impeached… but that’s because they’re playing the same football game that he is… they want a win… And this is the game HE wants to play).

      BUT, neither you nor I are in charge of the RNC. The question is, at what point does Trump become so untenable that Ryan and McConnell can no longer allow his to proceed unchecked. If he’s damaging the brand, AND they’re not getting their legislation passed (which is what’s been happening) then sooner or later he becomes a liability. They’re in a weird spot, because removing him under a RNC run congress is about as nuclear an option as there is… but if things get REALLY bad with the Russia investigation… AND he continues to fight in the name of winning, then sooner or later he becomes a liability that needs to be cut loose.

      But I think the point where that happens is a really bad place… that we may already be in.

    • avatar
      May 24, 2017 at 8:24 pm

      I am not sure the brand damage gets to the point that republicans try to remove Trump. The polling of his base has remained strong through all of this. The Republicans retain control of the Senate through 2018 pretty easily. They might lose the House in 2018. Maybe, if the Democrats can figure out how to win? Trump would really need to lose a lot more ground with that core kernel to get dumped. If he becomes that unpopular even with his base, then isn’t the threat of rioting somewhat diminished?

    • avatar
      May 24, 2017 at 8:40 pm

      well, maybe… except that I don’t think he’ll become unpopular with his base. If Hai-Son Nguyen shows anything it’s that they’ll remain faithful to the point of ridiculousness even when there’s no logical reason to be.

      The problem is that Trump isn’t actually a republican but Ryan, McConnell, et al. are… So there’s two bases to worry about. Trumps personal base and the RNC. So when the optics get bad enough that the RNC is being damaged and THEIR careers are in jeopardy (as well as the country) they can be forced to act. Trump is only useful to the RNC in as much as he is a signature approving their agendas. Right now they’re having a hard time getting legislation passed even with their double majority rule. So if they’re in danger of losing that by backing him, then he becomes a serious liability. One that Pence and Ryan are not.

      So it’s not so much about the DNC does (at least not until 2018… and that’s on the chance they can win). The question is does the RNC want to cut him down in order to attempt to save the 2018 election.

      Right now the answer is no. He’s not in danger of indictment, and impeachment really isn’t THAT bad other than from optics. It’s survivable, as Clinton proved. BUT Trump doesn’t like losing… so the one thing that keeps making this worse and worse (well, not the one thing… because the scandals, like Sessions today, just keep coming) is him tanking things. Like… I can’t imagine things getting worse… and everytime I say that he surprises me.

    • avatar
      May 24, 2017 at 9:10 pm

      “The question is does the RNC want to cut him down in an attempt to save the 2018 election.” Is it Trump or the RNC’s agenda that is hurting the 2018 chances? To me, it seems like the ACHA’s unpopularity is causing a lot more problems than the whole Russia thing. Case in point: http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2017/05/24/greg-gianforte-fox-news-team-witnesses-gop-house-candidate-body-slam-reporter.html

    • avatar
      May 24, 2017 at 10:09 pm

      sure… it compounded. One of the biggest problems with the AHCA is the schism in the RNC made it impossible to make a bill that anyone really liked, so they made one that they could just agree on. And that’s gonna be unpopular with a lot of people.

      But if you’re the RNC faithful, and believe in the repeal of Obamacare, you certainly can’t reverse track on that. And I expect Trump’s optics are going to be a much bigger problem moving forward. It’s something they can do.

  3. avatar
    May 24, 2017 at 11:56 am

    Crazy idea… Build a crazy realistic White House set that Trump can go to every day for the rest of his life…

    • avatar
      May 24, 2017 at 12:01 pm

      nope… won’t work. He likes watching TV. He’d know.

    • avatar
      May 24, 2017 at 12:01 pm

      (But I was seriously considering it for a bit)

    • avatar
      May 24, 2017 at 12:06 pm

      No, trump could be like the Joe in the Joe schmo show. Everyone but him would know it was a fake TV show.

    • avatar
      May 24, 2017 at 12:12 pm

      Oh… I get that that’s the plan. I just don’t think he’s stupid “in that way.”

      Like for all of his faults… the man is a reality show superstar. THat’s like the single thing he is most notable for…. He’s going to realize he’s trapped in a simulation and then find someway to find the immunity idol and weasel his way out.

      Also he spends 16 hours a day watching Fox News. Sooner or later Sean Hannity is going to do a story about the evil liberals trapping the president in the Truman Show.

    • avatar
      May 24, 2017 at 12:31 pm

      Sean Hannity might do that story regardless.

    • avatar
      May 24, 2017 at 12:44 pm

      I mean. I expect it to be on tonight.

    • avatar
      May 24, 2017 at 12:46 pm

      I hear there’s a gap in the previously-scheduled Seth Rich programming.

    • avatar
      May 24, 2017 at 2:26 pm

      You’d _would_ need to create a synthetic Fox. Now, If you got Bill O’Reily…

    • avatar
      May 24, 2017 at 4:30 pm

      Broadcast video from it on Fox. 😉

  4. avatar
    May 24, 2017 at 12:22 pm

    I agree with substantially everything you’ve said, except for a few points:

    “As far as I can tell from the information available to the public Pence had nothing to do with any of this and so there’s no good reason to impeach him.”

    and

    “Of course if by some means Pence goes down too… then that means that Ryan can take the office. And that may be the best thing for the presidency (and the Republican party) at this point. There’s no doubt that he had nothing to do with any of this.”

    Pence almost certainly *did* have some culpable involvement in the whole sordid affair — although this may have been after the fact. At least, that is strongly implied by Pence’s behaviour and by the behaviour of his personal staff during recent events. If Trump goes down, I find it very hard to believe that Pence will not also be sufficiently implicated to force his removal.

    As for Ryan… I will accept a theory that he was not directly involved — but the whole “change the Republican platform during the convention to softball Russia on Ukraine” thing? That’s close enough to a smoking gun to invalidate any claim to legitimacy for his hypothetical presidency.

    Pence or Ryan in the Oval Office would be, at best, clearly illegitimate and ineffective. But more likely, they would be impeached in short order.

    Going down the line of presidential succession, you don’t reach a prospective president who could be considered (apparently) untainted by the Russian connection until you get to Hatch. He’s nobody’s first choice for president, but he at least doesn’t seem to be another impeachment waiting to happen.

    • avatar
      May 24, 2017 at 12:36 pm

      “If Trump goes down, I find it very hard to believe that Pence will not also be sufficiently implicated to force his removal.”

      I mean, we certainly don’t “know” anything. We’re basing things on behavior and assumption. Even with Trump. Pence, I think can make a case for plausible deniability.

      “As for Ryan… I will accept a theory that he was not directly involved — but the whole “change the Republican platform during the convention to softball Russia on Ukraine” thing? That’s close enough to a smoking gun to invalidate any claim to legitimacy for his hypothetical presidency. ”

      not really… that’s the thing. It’s not a matter of ethics in this case. It’s a matter of law. The Consitutuons’s main goal is to preserve the Union. To maintain for another day. And Congress (under either party) but especially not dual controlled by Ryan’s own party is not going to take them down for the hell of it.

      Pence… could theoretically resign… like Nixon… trying to protect his own legacy. If the right stuff is found he could be forced out. But this is a super-longshot. As Michael Higgins and I are discussing above…. the likelihood that we see enough actionable stuff to INDICT (not just impeach) Trump is not very high. That’s intentionally a really hard process, which is why it has never happened. Finding anything that took down Pence as well would be super hard. And finding anything that could reach to Ryan, who is well liked within the party, and who had nothing directly to do with the campaign (in fact, often kinda working against it) is pretty much impossible.

      For Ryan to go down, you’d have to assume that the Republican party just wants to not be in business anymore.

      And they do.

  5. avatar
    May 24, 2017 at 1:15 pm

    People wanted a business CEO… someone who is usually used to getting his way or firing anyone he dislikes or “just because”. Well, that’s what they got and that is exactly what and how he is acting. No big surprise there for me.

    Republicans in congress NEED Trump so they can both be a willing partner to dismantle the middle class like they have longed to do for years. With Trump
    In the WH, now they finally have a willing partner or, I should say, a partner that only looks at this week’s headlines instead of having a bigger, broader picture.

    This is a partnership made in conservative heaven- wether or not Trump is an ACTUAL republican. The most important thing is that he won’t veto the terrible things they have been dying to implement for eight years.

    The only reason there is any special prosecutor is so that they can protect themselves from any self-perceived backlash they think they might get in two years.

    And with republican congressional gerrymandering in place until 2020, there really is very little democrats can do about any of this…

    • avatar
      May 24, 2017 at 1:32 pm

      Please don’t insult CEOs like that. I have friends who are CEOs 😉

    • avatar
      May 24, 2017 at 5:26 pm

      Michael Higgins to be fair, I said A CEI, not ALL CEOs. 😉

    • avatar
      May 25, 2017 at 3:12 am

      On the subject of Gerrymandering and 2020… there is one thing… we can TAKE BACK BOTH HOUSES in 2018! Then, Democrats will control the next cycle of redistricting. Since Dumpster is such a winner of a President, we ought to easily take back both houses. Then, we can make it almost statistically impossible for Republicans to win either House again, much less the Presidency… If Trump is not the “last President” he might be the last “angry old White man.”

    • avatar
      May 25, 2017 at 3:15 am

      James Langer that is not an impossibility it with the current gerrymandering districts set up
      They way they are, it will
      Be extremely difficult to successfully pull off.

    • avatar
      May 25, 2017 at 3:16 am

      Republicans are doing literally everything they can to help… this newscycle is draining them, nevermind the swamp, lol… for a party with everything to gain, they seem to have little left to lose.

    • avatar
      May 25, 2017 at 3:19 am

      7 years… for 7 years they railed against The Affordable Healthcare Act… 7 years… and it took them 100 days to pass a dumpster fire of a bill to replace it… they were so unprepared to lead… and the Senate doesn’t even have an idea where to start ripping it up. No, these guys cannot even get out of their own way… They are unworthy of both houses. 2018 cannot get here fast enough!

    • avatar
      May 25, 2017 at 3:20 am

      I hope they pass the 2018 budget and some version of the house health care bill… If enough Trump voters begin to enjoy the “rewards” of their party’s work… we will sweep them from office in 2018 for certain! All those rural and working class white people they are going to throw under the bus… I almost feel sorry for them… almost. They did vote, after all, and elections have consequences.

    • avatar
      May 25, 2017 at 3:24 am

      The over-under on Trump is that he is still being investigated in 2018, and Republicans will delay any real talk of impeachment until after the 2018 election cycle (barring a resignation) and then voters will sweep Democrats into power in a wave election, much like the ones Republicans enjoyed in 1994 and 2010… after which a democratic led congress will move swiftly to impeach Trump and force his departure.

    • avatar
      May 25, 2017 at 3:25 am

      I am rooting for his approval rating to dip below 30%

    • avatar
      May 25, 2017 at 5:22 am

      I,I #notallceos

  6. avatar
    May 24, 2017 at 2:50 pm

    Chris Maverick, can you explain the basis for how any collusion or interference through propaganda affects the legitimacy of the election results, that’s politics right? I understand the affects of information release and all that but I’m not sure how any of it casts doubt substantively upon the election process. I’m not buying the premise that the issues do any thing to the legitimacy of the election. Is it the proper term if so can you clarify?

    • avatar
      May 24, 2017 at 3:30 pm

      1. The DNC hack was probably a crime.
      2. “Collusion” implies knowledge and approval of that crime, which itself is probably criminal.
      3. That would mean that Trump’s campaign was engaged in a secret criminal conspiracy to gain an unfair advantage. Many American voters frown on criminals, or people they perceive to be criminals, taking high office. (See, for instance, chants of “lock her up.”)
      4. If they colluded with a foreign power (Russia), it is likely Russia asked for policy concessions. Many American voters frown upon officials making secret deals with foreign powers, especially ones that aren’t considered allies.

      It is therefore natural to conclude that many voters would not have voted for Trump if he or his campaign was colluding with Russia to commit crimes, and especially not if he was making policy concessions to them.

      And, forgive me for saying so, but these are obvious and natural conclusions. Are you being disingenuous when you ask?

    • avatar
      May 24, 2017 at 3:31 pm

      Honestly I don’t know that I can explain it to you simply. You’ve said on multiple occasions that you refuse to read anything long especially when it contradicts whatever you already believe.

      The simplest things I can say are:

      1) multiple intelligence agency heads have testified that the Russians tried to influence the election. We don’t know all the details because of classification. But we know there’s influence. This is problematic. If he didn’t know at the time, he’d actually be ok except

      2) in his own words he admits that he tried to impede the investigation. That’s textbook obstruction and he’d be on the way to impeachment already if Ryan wasn’t protecting him.

      3) comey, Yates and Obama have all stated that he was warned about Flynn. Even Flynn says he warned him. Trump also acknowledges this. Even if we could somehow find that Russia didn’t succeed in substantially affecting the outcome this is problematic. And returns is to point 2.

      4) today’s leak says that comey’s initial Clinton statements were colored by a fake Russia planted memo.

      5) today we also learned that’s Jeff Sessions omitted Russian contact info on his security clearance.

      6) he continues to actively lie about what has been testified by the others. Not disagree. That’s fine. He continues to misrepresent the words that Comey and others (including even himself sometimes) have said under oath. On film. Like a lot.

      I could keep going. But those are the big recent ones. It basically doesn’t matter at this point how effective the Russia interference was. We’re past that. Even if it was inconsequential there’s still serious problems.

      Add to all of that that you are in a minority of people who believe there was no effect on the election. That’s a big problem.

    • avatar
      May 24, 2017 at 3:36 pm

      Thanks Chris Maverick Regarding 1) All countries try to influence other countries elections at different times with different levels of criminality. We do it all over the world, not sure if we would feel it influences the legitimacy of the results. 2-6) After the fact, not sure it matters to the election legitimacy.

    • avatar
      May 24, 2017 at 3:39 pm

      Yeah, that’s not really true…. yes countries try to influence each other. We spy on people. They spy on us. We try to influence policy. But that’s not the issue here. It’s about direct manipulation.

      And the fact that you don’t understand the nuance there and why it makes you 100% wrong is sort of why we can’t explain it to you.

    • avatar
      May 24, 2017 at 3:41 pm

      Michael Higgins The criminal aspects of the hack and subsequent leak are interesting approaches but not sure if the criminal actions by a foreign power automatically delegitimizes the party/ticket they are rooting for… I’m not so sure it’s natural to assume the tipping point or any significant amount of votes were generated by the actions of the russians. If we are saying if even 1 vote went the other way then I’m not up for that debate. From my understanding our people went to the polls and undisputedly voted him into office. How and why are politics?

    • avatar
      May 24, 2017 at 3:47 pm

      Chris Maverick sure, I’m thick and all that, but the standalone influence is a matter of globalization and an information era. Direct manipulation is still not in of itself sufficient to invalidate results in my mind. It think it’s the perception that we were so weak that the manipulations were actually effective has been a pervasive mantra for liberals instead of accepting maybe people didn’t like your candidate…

    • avatar
      May 24, 2017 at 3:48 pm

      You are not paying attention. It is clear that he won despite a criminal act being committed. It was common knowledge that the DNC hack was a crime during the election (Guccifer 2.0 took credit for it back in July). The question is, did Trump’s campaign collude? That’s the significant element. And yes, if Trump’s campaign had aided a criminal enterprise and colluded with a foreign power to gain an electoral advantage, he sure as shit would have lost votes. Depending on the nature of the collusion, Trump might have become ineligible to be President on account of being in jail.

    • avatar
      May 24, 2017 at 3:51 pm

      Legally there is no restriction upon a criminal being elected and serving as president: US Constitution, Article II, Section 1
      No person except a natural born citizen, or a citizen of the United States, at the time of the adoption of this Constitution, shall be eligible to the office of President; neither shall any person be eligible to that office who shall not have attained to the age of thirty-five years, and been fourteen years a resident within the United States.
      US Constitution, Amendment XXII, Section 1 – ratified February 27, 1951
      No person shall be elected to the office of the President more than twice, and no person who has held the office of President, or acted as President, for more than two years of a term to which some other person was elected President shall be elected to the office of the President more than once.

    • avatar
      May 24, 2017 at 3:52 pm

      Realistically I can see the approach that if he was shown to be a criminal before election day then results would have been different. But that’s not here nor there… Is it hypotheticals that lead to the legitimacy weakening?

    • avatar
      May 24, 2017 at 3:54 pm

      “but the standalone influence is a matter of globalization and an information era.”

      NO…. it’s not. You’re making that up. That’s not the issue at all…

      “not sure if the criminal actions by a foreign power automatically delegitimizes the party/ticket they are rooting for… I’m not so sure it’s natural to assume the tipping point or any significant amount of votes were generated by the actions of the russians.”

      I get that you aren’t sure. It doesn’t matter. As Michael and I have explained in detail. Even if it is discovered that 100% Hillary was going to outright lose (and there’s no way of figuring that out)…. BUT it is discovered that Trump had any intention of trying to use the Russians to illegally help him (even though he was going to win anyway). That’s enough.

      Even if it’s discovered that he DIDN’T have any intention or knowledge of it… the problems with Flynn are a big problem. The problems with Comey’s firing are a big problem. The problems from today with Sessions omission of contacts in his security clearance are a big problem. The problems with Trump willfully misrepresenting congressional testimony are a HUGE problem.

      Several of the complaints against him go beyond impeachment. There is stuff on the table that potentially charges the sitting president of the United States with treason.

      You’re kinda proving my point here. We get it, you’re a Trump fan… But the point is that you’re being willfully ignorant of facts that EVEN HE ACKNOWLEDGES because it’s the only way to support him.

    • avatar
      May 24, 2017 at 3:55 pm

      Even the Obama birth certificate legitimacy claims were not based on hypothetical population behaviors it had to do with actual legal standing of eligibility…

    • avatar
      May 24, 2017 at 3:56 pm

      Okay, this is a dumb conversation. By the way, I concede your point about the legality of a felon being President, but geez, you are willfully ignoring any attempt at actually engaging the point I made, and I think you’re just trying to waste my time.

    • avatar
      May 24, 2017 at 4:00 pm

      I’m just of the opinion that he is legitimately the president of the united states not that he should be, that’s good and subjective. I think it’s a reach to move into legitimacy claims territory. Again, I’ll defer to the standard, innocent until proven guilty in a court of law. I just think it’s a colorful use of the term and would like to know if it had any legal support

    • avatar
      May 24, 2017 at 4:04 pm

      Wow. You’re actually making a birther argument.

      Let’s make this really simple. The birther argument was irrelevant. Ann Dunham was a US citizen. No one debates this. Even if Obama was born on the moon he would have been eligible for the presidency by virtue of that. Hell, McCain was born in Panama.

      Anyone following that logic already illustrates a fundamental lack of understanding of the thing they are arguing.

      Right now your literally clutching to the argument that “it’s ok because even a felon can be president”.

      If you start there… then no you’re never going to see the problem here. Which goes to my point of “facts aren’t going to matter to some people”

    • avatar
      May 24, 2017 at 4:05 pm

      Let’s not get into natural born citizen argument, cesarian section babies are excluded from eligibility you understand right?

    • avatar
      May 24, 2017 at 4:21 pm

      Dude. No. You’re literally just wrong here.

    • avatar
      May 24, 2017 at 6:33 pm

      Wow…. that is some crazy stuff right there about the TYPE of both stuff right there. It is also the same reason I continue to post the classic Meatballs clip of Bill Murray leading the Meatballs in the “IT JUST DOESN’T MATTER” clip because when you bring up brother arguments and c-sections as part of your defense, you are clearly spending way too many summers in the Meatballs summer camp…

    • avatar
      May 25, 2017 at 5:07 am

      “cesarian section babies are excluded from eligibility you understand right”
      HAHAHAHAHAHAHA oh that’s hilarious. I guess I better go inform my kids’ father that he’s not actually a US citizen. Boy will his parents be surprised!

    • avatar
      May 25, 2017 at 6:03 am

      Barbara Jensen if this was a joke, it was pretty ingenious… one must be a “natural born” citizen to be US president. So people born through c-section are ineligible.

    • avatar
      May 25, 2017 at 6:04 am

      Yeah, I get that’s where it’s from, and i find it hilarious. The problem is that there seem to be several people on teh intarnets who are actually taking that seriously.

    • avatar
      May 25, 2017 at 6:07 am

      Barbara Jensen wow. First time I came across this idea. Thought it MUST be a joke.

    • avatar
      May 25, 2017 at 6:08 am

      Apparently Trump floated it as an idea as to why Cruz couldn’t be president a while back.

      And some people are dumb enough to think it’s actually legally valid. One of those dumb people is currently president.

    • avatar
      May 25, 2017 at 6:08 am

      Chris Maverick again. WOW.

    • avatar
      May 25, 2017 at 7:47 am

      I thought the “issue” with Cruz was that he was born in Canada. The c-section thing is just idiots who don’t know what words mean.

    • avatar
      May 25, 2017 at 7:55 am

      Apparently he floated both ideas. And “idiots who don’t know what words mean” is appropriate in both cases.

    • avatar
      May 25, 2017 at 7:57 am

      The legal fallacy with Chris Maverick statement that because Obama’s mother was a citizen that he was automatically a citizen are based upon today’s laws. At the time of his birth she had not met the presence requirement 5 years after her 14th birthday.
      Specifically, the children of American GI’s in Vietnam were not natural born citizens after the fall of Saigon. In fact there is a distinction between genders in the law on citizenship.

    • avatar
      May 25, 2017 at 7:58 am

      Obama’s citizenship by birth could only be established by his birth in the US.

    • avatar
      May 25, 2017 at 8:00 am

      Michael Higgins The C-thing was a joke; and it’s hilarious imho!! Cruz’s case is different than Obama’s in the presence requirement. His mother was old enough at the time of birth to allow conveyance of citizenship by maternal rights.

    • avatar
      May 25, 2017 at 8:03 am

      Ok….. see, here’s the problem. You seriously don’t know what you’re talking about.

      First off, it wasn’t 5 years. it was 1 year…. Second that law was changed in 1964 because it… yeah, ok Barbara basically just made this way easier….

    • avatar
      May 25, 2017 at 8:07 am

      Chris Maverick I believe this statement “Even if Obama was born on the moon he would have been eligible for the presidency by…” is inaccurate… just teasing…

    • avatar
      May 25, 2017 at 8:11 am

      Anyway…. what you’re doing is called a non-sequitur fallacy…. You think that by proving an unrelated point the rest of your argument falls into place.

      Except that it doesn’t. Because lets say that we discover tomorrow that Barack Obama is secretly an intergalactic spy from the planet Rigel-7 who was placed into the country with the express purpose of rising through the government and becoming president.

      None of this has anything to do with Trump case and his impeachableness or lack thereof… something that you LITERALLY SAID YOU DON’T UNDERSTAND.

      This is why I wrote the article in the first place. Specifically the bit about the cookie jar. It doesn’t matter what evidence is given to you. It doesn’t matter that even the whitehouse is preparing for impeachment proceedings. You somehow believe that you’re smarter than the senate and the media and all the liberal crazies who are out to get you… with their crazy “facts” instead of the Occam’s Razor that maybe you just don’t know what you’re talking about…. you know WHICH EVEN YOU SAID!!!

    • avatar
      May 25, 2017 at 8:11 am

      It’d be better if you were trolling

    • avatar
      May 25, 2017 at 8:11 am

      You were wrong Chris, WRONG!!

    • avatar
      May 25, 2017 at 8:12 am

      Anyways, I was just interested in the legal basis for calling Trump’s presidency illegitimate…

    • avatar
      May 25, 2017 at 8:15 am

      No, I’m not wrong. I wasn’t joking. If Obama had been born on the moon, the current law says he could still be president. The birther argument cites a technicality in a law that is no longer valid.

      And you aren’t actually interested in the legal basis of calling Trump’s presidency illegitimate. Because you refuse to actually READ anything that disagrees with you. You’re arguing with half facts that you don’t really understand.

      For starters this post isn’t even about his presidency being legitimate. No one doubts that. It’s about him being impeachable.

      But you know… that requires reading.

    • avatar
      May 25, 2017 at 8:31 am

      It’s really hard to tell if Titi is just trolling. Titi: seriously, are you sincerely trying to have a discussion here, or are you just playing around?

    • avatar
      May 25, 2017 at 8:38 am

      Stephanie Siler, I was trying to understand the viewpoint of legitimacy. I did try to signal that the conversation was likely to skew into silly land… I find points of law interesting.

    • avatar
      May 25, 2017 at 2:18 pm

      Addendum: My labeling this as an “ingenious” joke was before I realized this was an actual belief.

    • avatar
      May 25, 2017 at 2:22 pm

      I maintain that the “joke” defense didn’t come up until Steph mentioned it first.

    • avatar
      May 25, 2017 at 2:22 pm

      The C-section was a joke, the rest is glossed over stuff. Here’s the Scotus case for out of wedlock cases: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nguyen_v._INS If Obama’s mother was out of wedlock it would not have matter, different presence requirement. It supports gender discrimination in determining citizenship

    • avatar
      May 25, 2017 at 2:28 pm

      Still wrong. Still irrelevant. Non sequiter fallacy.

    • avatar
      May 25, 2017 at 2:39 pm

      Oh, I thought it was where the 1 year reference came from, that’s the requirement for out of wedlock (single mother), which has been in effect before Obama’s birth.

    • avatar
      May 25, 2017 at 2:40 pm

      sorry that was meant with sarcasm

    • avatar
      May 25, 2017 at 2:41 pm

      I don’t mean to state Obama was born outside the US.

    • avatar
      May 25, 2017 at 2:41 pm

      Just if he was born on the moon…

    • avatar
      May 25, 2017 at 2:44 pm

      IT’S IRRELEVANT!!! Provided you overlooked the intended racism and sexism of the law and found it applied through a 3 month gap to Ann Dunham and therefore invalidated Obama despite the fact that he did eventually produce a birth certificate from Hawaii that stated he was born in this country…. assuming all of that was true….

      NONE of it has anything to do with what this post is about. None of it is relevant to whether or not Trump’s actions are impeachable offenses.

      Like you’re even saying it now… your grasping and trying to find some random fact which you are right on just because it seems like that would make the rest of your argument fall into place.

      You might as well just say “C-A-T spells cat”

      Because even once you find a random fact that is true, it’s not relevant to the point we’re discussing.

    • avatar
      June 13, 2017 at 2:07 pm

      Not one to revive an old thread but SCOTUS has just ruled against the discrimination in citizenship! https://www.nytimes.com/2017/06/12/us/politics/supreme-court-citizenship-ginsburg-gorsuch.html Just a legal update…!!

  7. avatar
    May 24, 2017 at 3:45 pm

    Well said sir. Well said.

    • avatar
      May 24, 2017 at 4:26 pm

      You never answered when i asked you on a previous argument.

      When you try to defend Trump on posts like this… And you see that your closest ally is someone like Hai-Son Nguyen… do you feel like he’s helping you? Or do you say “god I wish that guy would stop…. he’s making everyone think I’m stupid”

    • avatar
      May 24, 2017 at 4:32 pm

      I heard the Deep State took Donald’s phone and is forging his tweets to make him look dumb! Also, they replaced him with a Life Model Decoy that is programmed to give long, rambling, incoherent interviews to the New York Times. This conspiracy is reaches further than you can possibly imagine! I’m worried the Saudis are trying to take over his mind using that glowing orb (or maybe the hundred million they gave to Ivanka… but the Hero of the People can never be bought!)

    • avatar
      May 24, 2017 at 5:09 pm

      Not going to deny Trump is his own worst enemy, but what is going on with most of the media right now is exactly what went on with right wing media in Clintons first year or office.

    • avatar
      May 24, 2017 at 5:20 pm

      it really isn’t. There’s a fundamental difference. Worse case scenario in the Clinton case was that Bill fucked in the Oval Office. I for one thought he was lying about it from day one.

      Trump’s worse case scenario is he is guilty of treason. His absolute BEST CASE saving scenario at this point is that he was duped. His only way out at this point is to claim that he was too incompetent to understand the problematic things going on around him. 1) He’s not going to take that because he’s too proud. And 2) even if he did, while it would save his presidency, it’s not the best way to build a strong one.

      And you still haven’t answered the question.

    • avatar
      May 25, 2017 at 1:14 pm

      For Bill, there was more. Whitewater, Vince Foster, travelgate to name a few. Maybe there was nothing behind them but the right wing media sure thought there was.

      Now look at Trump. I find it doubtful that he colluded with the Russians. Putin did what he did because he wanted to and needed no help or approval from trump. Trump knows this and finds all of the allegations annoying and it does make him act unhinged. He is that kind of guy.

      Flynn, may have been mixed up in bad stuff. Doubt trump knew about it though until it was too late. Flynn likely came to trump early and gave him some good insight. He still had a security clearance. Trump should have vetted him better. Now Flynn blows up and trump tries to put out the fire. Digging a deeper hole. I agree it is not the way to start your presidency. But I see no criminal intent, just a lack of understanding on how washington works. But you are right, it is doubtful he will admit that. He will just dig deeper.

      And I don’t know Hai-Son Nguyen, but he seems like a bright guy to me.

    • avatar
      May 25, 2017 at 1:59 pm

      It’s still not the same. Assuming you could somehow prove that bill shot foster personally it wouldn’t matter. Best case Clinton was looking at something on par with watergate.

      Like I said… and this isn’t partisan even though I know you want to thin it is…. trump is running closer and closer to treason charges. That’s the problem.

      It’s not just that Flynn was mixed up in stuff and trump didn’t know. Flynn told trump about it and trump gave him the job anyway (trump admits this). PLUS when it became a problem trump tried to bury it and fired At least two federal department heads (comey and Yates). Plus trump publicly threatened comey and I found so violated the presidential recordings act of 1978… or at least his threat would mean he has. I actually don’t think he did. He just didn’t know it was a thing so he decided to bluster. Then he PERSONALLY leaked classified information to the foreign power that started all of this AND bragged to them about obstruction of justice in firing Comey.

      Everything in the previous paragraph are the things that TRUMP claims. Not that he’s being accused of. They’re literally his official statements. From a national security standpoint they each amount to a bigger deal than anything in whitewater. And all of them combined are super problematic.

      I’m not defending Clinton on this. In fact, I acknowledge he got off easy. But your claim that this is a media invention (or even a dnc invention) in the same way as that was a media of rnc one is just wrong. That’s an impressive level of denial beyond what even trump’s actual team has. Like when he says he could shoot someone in the middle of the street and you’d still vote for him. He’s talking about you.

      In fact… I’m suddenly curious where you stand on Gianforte

      As for your answer to the question of whether Hai-son is helping you…. HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!!

      I mean. Wow.

    • avatar
      May 25, 2017 at 4:48 pm

      Truth is, I was a reluctant trump voter. I really would identify more with Rand Paul. But Hillary disgusted me so I voted for Trump. What she did with her emails is a far greater crime than anything trump did so far. Not just violating rules setting up that server, but intentionally wiping the servers to cover it up. So you see things your way, and I see mine and we will never convince the other.

    • avatar
      May 25, 2017 at 4:59 pm

      Dude…. I can accept that you don’t like Hillary. I’m not defending her.

      But your statement there is just ridiculous! LITERALLY the FBI is investigating them both and they are more concerned with the Trump.

      I’m going to grant you that Hillary did the wrong thing. What she is accused of is storing government email on a private server that may or may not contained classified information. The reason there was an investigation is that it is unclear 1) whether or not there was classified information involved. 2) the extent to which she was negligent. Her two predecessors, both republicans, Rice and Powell have said that it was standard practice. She claims that there was no classified information. The FBI found that she was not criminally liable. Again, I for one am granting that she was wrong here…. I think she did the wrong thing. I’ve made no secret o that.

      in Trump’s case… among other things… he is accused of PERSONALLY LEAKING CLASSIFIED INFORMATION TO A RUSSIAN SPY! In the Oval Office. That’s not under debate. He admits it. He defends it. But he admits that he did it. So ignoring everything else… he’s already on par with the worst case scenario if Hillary was lying.

      Add to that the issues with Flynn and Comey and Sessions and as of today Kushner and the fact that HE ADMITS HE ACTIVELY TRIED TO CRUSH THE FLYNN INVESTIGATION and he’s already doing far more than you accuse Hillary of.

      This isn’t about convincing you to like Hillary. I didn’t bring her up. You did. The point is consistency. You don’t like her and that’s fine. But it’s irrational and hypocritical to use the reasons you’ve given for not liking Hillary but arguing that they don’t apply to Trump when by TRUMP’S ADMISSION they do.

    • avatar
      May 25, 2017 at 5:03 pm

      If you want to say you don’t like her because she’s a democrat. I’m fine with that. If you want to say you’re pro-life. I’m fine with that. If you want to say it’s because she supports TPP or gun reform or Obamacare… those are all rational reasons.

      Hell, If you want to say “I don’t like her because she’s a woman and bitches be crazy” That’s at least logically consistent.

      But your specific reasoning that you’re trying to argue is nonsensical when you compare it to what he’s done. If you think that the email leak (problematic but unproven) is on par with Trump’s admission to negligence with classified information AND an ongoing investigation into collusion and treason in his administration… well… then you have no objectivity with which to hold an intellectual conversation.

    • avatar
      May 25, 2017 at 5:03 pm

      The president and the foreign minister reviewed common threats from terrorist organizations to include threats to aviation,” said H.R. McMaster, the national security adviser, who participated in the meeting. “At no time were any intelligence sources or methods discussed, and no military operations were disclosed that were not already known publicly.”

    • avatar
      May 25, 2017 at 5:06 pm

      Nowhere near what Hillary did. I have taken training on handling classified info many times in my life. If I did what she did I would have been in jail. Hillary didn’t get prosecuted because Obamas DOJ protected her.

    • avatar
      May 25, 2017 at 5:08 pm

      Ummmm…. so your logic is “what Hillary did in service as Secretary of State was wrong and she only got away with it because her government cronies covered it up but what Donald did is ok because his government cronies vouch for him”

    • avatar
      May 25, 2017 at 5:10 pm

      Jeffrey Kertis this is like saying someone is not a criminal because although they committed murder, they did not commit theft or assault. Trump DID give the russians classified info.

    • avatar
      May 25, 2017 at 5:13 pm

      You’re falling into the same logical trap as Hai-Son Nguyen did. You’re trying to expose another issue and conflating it with this one.

      It doesn’t work because I’m not defending her. I said in the initial post that I’m not arguing for her as president. My scenarios are for Pence or Ryan to be (and i HAAAAAAATE Pence).

      I’m not giving her a pass. I conceded that she was wrong. The issue is that you are giving Trump a pass.

    • avatar
      May 25, 2017 at 5:25 pm

      So you are calling McMaster a liar? I would believe him over an unnamed source at the Washington post. You believe what you want. I give that story as much credibility as the one that said the DNC murdered Seth rich.

    • avatar
      May 25, 2017 at 5:35 pm

      Ummm. I’m not saying anything about McMaster one way or the other. I’m saying that’s a side point. I’m saying you believe him because he’s validating but are unwilling to believe someone in the same position in the Obama camp.

      And btw, trump disputed McMaster. So it’s more that he’s calling him a liar.

    • avatar
      May 25, 2017 at 5:56 pm

      Sigh. No, I’m not calling him a liar. What I was trying to say in my analogy is that the quote you have of McMasters is orthogonal to what Trump has been accused of revealing to the russians. He was accused of revealing classified info about isis putting bombs in laptops. This is not inconsistent, and in fact (now that I’ve thought about this more) IS consistent with mcmasters saying that they discussed threats to aviation.

    • avatar
      May 25, 2017 at 5:57 pm

      and now Trump has given Duterte classified info on nuclear submarine locations near N.Korea…..

    • avatar
      May 25, 2017 at 6:02 pm

      If trump told the Russians that Isis was putting bombs in laptops, how is that damaging to national security in any way assuming no mention of how that information was obtained. Same with trump saying we have subs off the coast of Korea? What if he said we have subs in the Pacific ocean? The press is the ones damaging national security printing this stuff.

    • avatar
      May 25, 2017 at 6:07 pm

      DUDE!!! HE IS LITERALLY BEING INVESTIGATED BY THE FBI AND CONGRESS BECAUSE THEY DISAGREE WITH YOU

    • avatar
      May 25, 2017 at 6:08 pm

      The problem is more that he told the Russians they know this because Mossad has(had) an agent in deep cover imbedded in IS. That agent is now fully compromised and may very well be dead because of his carelessness.

    • avatar
      May 25, 2017 at 6:09 pm

      Which again, he admits…

    • avatar
      May 25, 2017 at 6:19 pm

      When did he admit that? McMaster’s account did not say that. I think you just make this stuff up. Or are you just watching CNN?

    • avatar
      May 25, 2017 at 6:22 pm

      Jeff: this article outlines why, what to you seems like an innocuous comment is in fact very dangerous.

      https://www.google.com/amp/s/www.vox.com/platform/amp/world/2017/5/16/15646762/trump-russia-classified-information-explainer

    • avatar
      May 25, 2017 at 6:22 pm

      Trump says he told the Russians what McMaster said he didn’t. His official stance is the Nixon defense “when the president does it it’s not illegal”. Basically Trump’s argument is that by virtue of executive privilege he declassified the information by revealing it.

      That claim is kind of tenuous. It’s not clear that he can do it. But if you assume he can then that means McMasters is lying.

    • avatar
      May 25, 2017 at 6:24 pm

      Or you can assume trump is lying and he didn’t do it. In which case you have a president lying to claim he compromised national security when he didn’t.

      Either way it’s kind of a problem.

    • avatar
      May 25, 2017 at 6:25 pm

      Charlotte Yano and also, Israel and other countries that provided intel to the US may be reluctant to share this intel with the US, which could obviously have dire consequences.

    • avatar
      May 25, 2017 at 6:27 pm

      and even IF the intel he gave out was, like, NBD, we are now in a situation where Mossad won’t be giving new intel any time soon, and our own Pentagon will think some time on whether he can be trusted with our own data. I imagine the logical conclusion is that MI-6 will suddenly not know anything either.

    • avatar
      May 25, 2017 at 6:28 pm

      Stephanie Siler great minds….

    • avatar
      May 25, 2017 at 6:33 pm

      right… What Charlotte and Stephanie said. The point here is, by Trump’s admission, the BEST CASE SCENARIO is that he was more reckless with classified information than Hillary ever was during the thing he was complaining about.

      Again, that doesn’t make her right… Not at all. But it means that Jeffrey’s claim that she was more dangerous is invalid. At absolute best they’re tied… you could make that claim.

      But if you’re clinging to the case that she should be in jail (which is irrelevant in the current argument other than Jeffrey bringing it up) while at the same time arguing that what he did was perfectly harmless but for media chicanery then you are being disingenuous….

      Now if you’d brought up Hillary just to say that she and Trump were both wrong and should be in jail, that would be logically consistent and a better argument. But the way you’re doing it, you’re hurting your case.

    • avatar
      May 25, 2017 at 6:38 pm

      I brought her up not to say she should be in jail, but that much of the media and the Obama administration and Coney looked the other way when she did it, and are now bashing Trump. I said I would be in jail if I did it, as would you. But trump is the president and Hillary had friends in high places so I doubt either will see that fate.

    • avatar
      May 25, 2017 at 8:47 pm

      Ok… So once again… let’s be clear here. I’m not campaigning for Hillary. I will 100% concede that she did the wrong thing. I’m saying that… on the record right here. I’ve actually said it multiple times before. In fact, I’ve often said that her greatest problem was that her trustworthiness issue, and the campaign’s refusal to acknowledge it and hiding behind the screen that anyone who didn’t trust her simply didn’t trust her because of sexism.

      My stance was always that it doesn’t matter why she wasn’t trusted. The fact was that she simply wasn’t and she not only refused to address it, she made several moves that threw gasoline on the fire and made it worse. The email scandal was one of those things. She broke a rule… one that was broken before by others, but that didn’t matter. She did break a rule. Then she lied about it. Then she tried to cover it up. Then she lied about covering up. And she even lied about her exoneration, claiming that Comey said she did nothing wrong (Which is not what he said… he said she did something wrong, but not criminal).

      HILLARY FUCKED UP!

      I went through all of that to make it clear that I am being objective.

      The problem is you’re not being objective. First of all, I know all of that because I watch the news and read the news… A LOT. I watched what she said and Comey said and I am currently repeating facts. Not opinions and not interpretations. I am repeating facts. And the facts are that Hillary did those things.

      And because of those things, the Donald spent MONTHS campaigning on the “Lock her up!” ticket.

      Now lets move on.

      Again, the problem is you’re taking all of that and what you get from it is that Hillary should be in jail. (Even though Comey exonerated her). You are literally ignoring the things that the Donald has done that are exactly the same and in some cases much worse.

      Very early on here, you pointed out that Trump was his own worst enemy.

      But ever since then all you’ve done is defend him to the point of ludicrousness. You say you were a reluctant Trump supporter, but voted for him because you’re a conservative. But if that were the case, logically what you SHOULD want would be a fair and honest investigation by independent counsel. Because it’s looking increasingly likely that that might result in a Mike Pence presidency. And Pence is undoubtedly a conservative.

      But the problem is that’s not really true. You DON’T seem to actually want a conservative president so much as you seem to want to punish liberals. And doing that means you have to argue in favor of Trump. But the problem is … the media isn’t biased here… Trump and his team have constructed a situation where they are worse off than Hillary was with all the things that I pointed out a few paragraphs ago.

      It’s not a witch hunt. It’s not a coup. Trump has created a world where he is he has unequivocally AT BEST committed the same infraction he has spent the last year accusing Hillary of doing. He simply has. That’s a fact. The best he can hope for, even if he does everything right from now on, is that the investigation decides that he was negligent but not criminal (exactly where Hillary is). Potentially, depending on the fall out of the investigation this could be MUCH MUCH MUCH worse… which is what Charlotte Yano, Stephanie Siler and I keep trying to point out to you.

      But you’re ignoring that evidence. And you keep returning to trying to pin it on Hillary doing something worse. But that’s a losing argument. Because it doesn’t matter. It makes you look stupid. Really really stupid.

      For the context of this conversation, I’m willing to grant you that Hillary and Bill broke into Vince Foster’s house and shot him in the head, then called Monica Lewinsky over and fucked on his dead body, then Hillary personally planted Looney Toons ACME style TNT in the embassy at Benghazi, blew it up, bragged about it to Chelsea in classified email on her personal server, then erased it…. and somewhere along the line she shot Kennedy and kidnapped the Lindberg baby. And Barack Obama knows all of this and he helped her cover it up… with the help of his muslim allies in his native birthplace of Kenya. I’m willing to grant you ALL of that. Seriously.

      Because even if each and everyone one of those things are true, that doesn’t help Trump one iota in this case. He’s still in serious trouble here purely based on the facts of his personal unrelated case. I will grant you that there is partisan favoritism on both sides. But that’s not what’s happening here. He’s in serious trouble here. That’s not a media invention. It’s not a liberal opinion. Its a fact.

      And by not recognizing that… you kind of come across as ignorant. And by arguing against it using the tactics you’re taking (namely, comparing it to the Hillary scandal) you look really dumb. Not as dumb as Hai-son looked in his argument…. but pretty dumb.

    • avatar
      May 26, 2017 at 3:02 am

      But I have yet to see any written evidence or any testimony under oath trump did anything wrong:

      Coney said he serves at the will of the president and there was no obstruction.

      McMaster said that there was no leaking of classified info.

      Everything else has been an unverified report by the media using unnamed sources.

      I welcome an investigation to finally clear this up. But I see no evidence of a crime at this point, and neither does anyone else who didn’t already hate trump before or impeachment proceedings would have already begun.

    • avatar
      May 26, 2017 at 3:09 am

      Comey has said he serves at the will of the President, but he has NOT said that there has been no obstruction

    • avatar
      May 26, 2017 at 3:13 am

      Jeffrey Kertis dude, some of the “written evidence” is Trump’s own tweets. He had admitted to obstruction in them at least once.

    • avatar
      May 26, 2017 at 4:40 am

      Techically, McMaster could have been correct in saying that classified information was not leaked even while Trump chose to reveal classified information to the Russians in a manner that showed poor judgement and shared information that was insufficiently anonymised to protect its source. Presidents have some leeway when disclosing intelligence to foreign heads of state, but it is important to share intelligence in a way that protects its source.

      Another area where Trump showed poor judgement when sharing information is that he reportedly shared the locations of nuclear submarines to President Duterte. This came from a transcript of the phone call.

      With the leaking of information about the Manchester bomber, we might be seeing a pattern of improper handling of intelligence from this administration.

      These things are not crimes, but they do seem to be examples of poor judgement.

      The main thing I see as a crime to investigate is firing Comey to stop the Russia investigation. Again, Trump’s twitter rants help make the case against him.

    • avatar
      May 26, 2017 at 6:17 am

      Jeff: where exactly did mcmaster say “no classified information was leaked”? Your quote above does not say this, as there is other classified info other than what he mentioned, like the info he allegedly did not only leak but BRAG to the russians about having. In other words, mcmaster simply mentioned specific types of classified info that trump did NOT leak. From everything I’ve read, he never made the more general statement that trump did not leak ANY classified info. This intel on isis planning to use laptops as bombs was considered highly classified. , As it appears, trump shared that Intel, he shared it with America’s enemy. And he did this in a closed-door session that excluded any American journalist, but allowed Russian journalist. (These are undisputed facts.) You don’t find that at all suspicious or strange? If Hillary did this, you would find this to be perfectly fine?

      Another piece of evidence that Trump gave this info away was once again trumps own tweets, shown below.

      As President I wanted to share with Russia (at an openly scheduled W.H. meeting) which I have the absolute right to do, facts pertaining….

      …to terrorism and airline flight safety. Humanitarian reasons, plus I want Russia to greatly step up their fight against ISIS & terrorism.

      There’s probably much more that I’m not aware of, as I don’t follow Trump on Twitter.

    • avatar
      May 27, 2017 at 3:29 am

      Jeffrey Kertis I am curious to hear your response to the article Steph mentioned. How do you feel about Trump’s handling of classified information in this case? By Trump’s own admission, he says that he shared intel with Russia in one of his tweets. It seems that sources agree that Trump revealed enough information for the Russians to reverse engineer the source – since he revealed information about the city of origin.. Or, do you dispute that he revealed enough information for Russians to reverse engineer an important source?

    • avatar
      May 28, 2017 at 4:59 pm

      The US shares intelligence with foreign governments routinely. According to McMasters account the source could not be reverse engineered. I see no issue here.

      I do not know who leaked the Manchester info, but it is just as likely that it was an Obama holdover as it is a trump person.

      As for the sub, to say there are nuclear subs in the Pacific ocean or south China sea or escorting a battle group. Is not classified. You must give a more specific location than trump supposed ly gave. And even then it could just be a bluff. That statement on no way compromised the military.

    • avatar
      May 28, 2017 at 5:02 pm

      In fact the press has caused more damage than trump by making this info public and adding info.they are not serving the country only trying to overthrow the governme.

    • avatar
      May 28, 2017 at 6:08 pm

      See, the problem you’re missing is 1) you’re assuming McMaster is the be-all end-all of security classification. He’s not. He’s the National Security Advisor… NOT the head of the CIA or FBI. It’s not his call. He’s frankly not qualified to make that decision. I’m not insulting him by saying that. I’m not qualified to make that decision either. It’s neither of our jobs. You only like him because you THINK he is backing up what you’re saying.

      2) He’s not actually backing up what you’re saying. What he actually said was that Trump didn’t share information. Trump has since said that he did. The White House stance right now is that Trump declassified the info by sharing it. Which the president actually does kind of have the right to do. So it’s not necessarily illegal or impeachable. It’s just reckless.

      3) in fact it is reckless in literally exactly the same way as what Hillary did with the server. More so in fact, because while she only put classified information at risk (there’s no evidence that it was compromised). He specifically compromised intelligence. To a known spy.

      I get it. You want to blame the media. You’ve made it pretty clear that you think any media that doesn’t agree with you is liberal bias. But that’s not the case here. This is a case of you misunderstanding the narrative that White House is giving and trying to retrofit it to what you already believe.

      CNN is not the one who appointed the special counsel to investigate. The thing that is frustrating is that you’re trying to argue that you are only a “reluctant Trump supporter” but you are defending him with more blind fervor than even the actual Republican party or members of his staff.

      You say “I see no issue here” but in all honesty… do you even want to? You stance on everything here seems to be “well, I don’t see proof. Show me proof that is real and not a liberal smear job” but you seem to define “liberal smear job” as “stuff that Jeffrey Kertis doesn’t personally like”

    • avatar
      May 28, 2017 at 7:04 pm

      1) trump himself is the end all be all of classification. If he wants to give that information out, he is able to.

      2) you have it wrong. He said that they discussed common tthreats to aviation and that they did not discuss sources or methods.not necessarily even reckless. Remember, we had a travel advisory banning laptops from these countries at one point so it wasn’t even super secret info.

      3) no, Hillary was more reckless. It is almost certain that Hillary’s email was hacked by multiple governments. It was less secure than gmail. Trump controlled who he gave the info to. The Russians have the same problems with radical Islamic terror that we do.

      As I said, I have yet to see a smoking gun. Lots of smoke though. I can no longer trust the media, remember the unnamed sources who reported trump peering on the prostitute? Never happened. How about when trump supporters set fire to the church and wrote vote trump? Except that it was a member of the church that did that. Or how trumps budget cuts social programs? Except that it only slows the rate of increase. Or how trump was going to lose the election.

    • avatar
      May 28, 2017 at 7:24 pm

      Ok…. I just want to point out that you’re literally arguing that Hillary was “almost certainly hacked by multiple governments even though we can’t find proof” in the same breath that you’re saying “we have no smoking gun that Trump did something wrong”

      and then changing the subject to a bunch of racist propaganda.

    • avatar
      May 29, 2017 at 4:13 am

      Please, you want to accuse me of only accepting news that I agree with and dismissing everything else, yet that’s what you do. Of course the country is filled with racists sexists homophobes and islamiphobes. That’s why trump won. Where have I heard that before? Go ahead keep deluding yourself that way. You can ignore all of the problems of the past 16 years of government, the debt, high taxes, bad foreign policy, lack of decent jobs, corruption, pork barrel spending, destruction of personal liberties by the patriot act/NSA surveillance, violence in Chicago, Detroit, baltimore. No, those things are a fantasy created by fox news.

    • avatar
      May 29, 2017 at 7:01 am

      Actually I don’t do that.

      For instance I pointed out in detail the specific mistakes Hillary Clinton made a few comments ago. Moreover I think Fox News often has good journalism. They just mix it in with a spin of partisan opinions. MSNBC often does the same. CNN less so.

      I didn’t mention anything in your list about jobs or pork barrel spending or the patriot act. They’re all orthogonal to the argument we’re having here.

      The problem is opinions and facts are different things. I have no problem with someone being conservative and having different opinions on how the country should work than I do.

      This isn’t a problem specific to conservatives. I actually wrote a blog about it a few month ago. http://www.chrismaverick.com/wp/2017/01/26/all-facts-are-alternative-some-are-more-alternative-than-others/

      The problem in this case is that you don’t seem to be intelligent enough to separate one from the other. I don’t actually think you realize the logical flaw in your argument about needing proof for Trump but Clinton is “obviously” guilty.

      You seem to be laboring under the delusion that since the news doesn’t back up your opinions it must be wrong. This is because you don’t understand that your opinions aren’t based on facts. Honestly you don’t seem to be smart enough to tell the difference. So you do the conservative movement a disservice by arguing by illogically. Frankly you’re following a similar line of thinking to what Trump does. “I don’t like the answer. So it must be fake news.” This doesn’t make you rare. It just makes you stupid.

    • avatar
      May 29, 2017 at 7:17 am

      Jeff: in line with Mav’s point about believing what you want to believe, I feel obligated to point out that you dismiss anonymous sources, yet you post this article (The Federalist article) written anonymously.

    • avatar
      May 29, 2017 at 7:22 am

      Good example. It’s the same with the logical flaw in his Clinton vs Trump comparison. Like Trump, his definition of “fake news” seems to be “stuff that doesn’t agree with me” and not any logical bound of verification or consistency.

      There are tons of ways of making consistent and valid conservative arguments. Megan Kelly and Bill O’Reilly have made careers of it. Hell, Paul Ryan’s entire job right now is trying to spin Trump policy into “stuff that makes sense.”

      Jeff here just doesn’t seem to understand nuance… or care. He’s trying to reduce it to a football game of “not on my side, so it must be bad!!!”

    • avatar
      May 29, 2017 at 9:44 am

      Look, all of this is conjecture, including the article I linked to. But it is an interesting and plausible scenario. Trumps missteps are plausible too. I find it likely that trump pissed off enough people that they are setting him up. To me it is far more logical that he is a blowhard jerk who makes enemies easily than a traitor. And my side is small, honest, efficient government. I liked Bill Clinton, hated both Bush and Obama. To me trump is better than the alternatives, but I’m not crazy about his environmental stance. And he has not handled his first few months in office well. But neither did Bill Clinton, and things ended up ok.

    • avatar
      May 29, 2017 at 9:51 am

      It’s NOT conjecture… you’re the only one conjecturing! That’s the whole point! This was a post about understanding the facts of the situation and WHY certain people… literally people like you… are willing to ignore the facts in order to defend him.

      This is NOT about small government. Frankly, he’s done very little in line with the conservative small government cause at all… mostly because he hasn’t had time to because he’s dealing with all of the bullshit of his own making. But also partly because of democrat obstructionism. I’m willing to admit that (actually very little is because of this, because they have no real power — it’s more a schism in the RNC between the differing caucuses… but the point still remains.)

      But none of that is conjecture. The question is literally WHY are certain people willing to ignore facts in order to support him and how far are they willing to go?

      I even asked specifically how stupid would people have to be in order to try and reconcile their support for him in the face of the non-partisan evidence.”

      The only reason anyone here is engaging with you is that you provide a fascinating example case of the answer.

    • avatar
      May 29, 2017 at 10:13 am

      If your facts were actually facts we would have president Pence right now. I don’t see Trump endearing himself to most establishment republicans. In fact, most of the Obama people said that there is enough to open an investigation but no proof of wrongdoing right now. From anti trump CNN:

      Brennan wasn’t saying that he believed that the Trump campaign actively colluded with Russia. Only that, again in his words, “I saw interaction that in my mind raised questions of whether it was collusion…It was necessary to pull threads.”

      No one — or very, very few people — are alleging that there is any evidence at this point that proves collusion between Trump’s presidential campaign and Russian intelligence operatives. What most people — including the vast majority of Democrats — are saying is that there is enough smoke here that a serious investigation needs to be launched into whether there is a fire somewhere.

      So please tell me what evidence I am failing to acknowledge.

    • avatar
      May 29, 2017 at 10:21 am

      I don’t think you understand how complicated and long and arduous a process investigations or impeachment or indictment are.

      It’s been less than 150 days. And there’s an ongoing investigation. Again… you’re working with a logical fallacy. One, that through his own admission, the president of the united states has tried to obstruct and shut down.

      In Trump’s case, you think that “he’s not done anything wrong, because he wasn’t indicted” but in Clinton’s case “she’s the devil incarnate. If it weren’t for her cronies protecting her she’d be in jail.”

      THAT RIGHT THERE…. That’s the essence of this discussion. Not who would be better. Not the specifics of politics. We are discussing the fact that YOU as a prime example are unable to understand simple logical consistency. You’re like actually totally fascinating and there should be papers written about you.

    • avatar
      May 29, 2017 at 10:27 am

      also:

      “So please tell me what evidence I am failing to acknowledge.”

      See… this has been pointed out to you repeatedly. For like 100 comments now.

      The reason you’re interesting is that I can’t figure out if you’re dumb or just obstinate.

    • avatar
      May 29, 2017 at 11:42 am

      Jeff: another point you seem to be inconsistent on deals with your trust in high-level officials. For example, you appear to trust Mcmaster’s supposed comment that Trump didn’t release any classified information to the Russians (even though that’s not what he actually said). However, you do not appear to believe Comey when he said that Trump asked him to stop the Flynn investigation.

    • avatar
      May 29, 2017 at 11:52 am

      If and when I hear comey himself testify to that I will believe it. But a newspaper reporting on leaked comey memos. Ill just wait for him to testify:

      https://www.nytimes.com/2017/05/17/opinion/trumps-fbi-comey-statements-are-not-an-obstruction-of-justice.html

    • avatar
      May 29, 2017 at 11:55 am

      McMaster a comment is on the record, I posted it. He did not say that no classified info was shared but that no sources or methods were. Why is that so hard to understand. We provide Intel to foreign governments all of the time.

    • avatar
      May 29, 2017 at 12:10 pm

      Jeffrey Kertis The reason I am attributing you as having said that comment is because you said that comment. Here’s a direct quote from you from above:

      “McMaster said that there was no leaking of classified info.”

    • avatar
      May 29, 2017 at 12:33 pm

      I misspoke then. Should have been no inappropriate leaking of classified info

    • avatar
      May 29, 2017 at 12:37 pm

      Except that, again…. It’s not McMaster’s job to assess whether it was appropriate or not. You just decided that.

      To put it another way. You’re doing exactly what Hillary did (and Trump is currently doing). You just specifically said that you would believe Comey’s testimony. Come specifically testified that Hillary behaved recklessly, but there’s no evidence that she did anything criminal or compromising. She tries to spin that as “The FBI cleared me of any wrongdoing.” and they did not. That’s not accurate.

      on the other hand, you’re trying to spin that as “She compromised security.” but that is the opposite of what he said.

      Again, we’re trying to take the politics out of this. You seem incapable.

    • avatar
      May 29, 2017 at 12:38 pm

      (actually, it’s McMaster’s job to be super cautious… so if anything he should specifically want NO information to be shared with the Russians… which, again… is part of why the investigation is happening)

    • avatar
      May 29, 2017 at 4:12 pm

      Except then if not McMaster it would be trumps job.

    • avatar
      May 29, 2017 at 5:06 pm

      Not exactly… McMaster is irrelevant to the discussion. We’re only talking about him because you brought him up. Again, this is why there’s an investigation.

      I mean, it is sort of Trump’s job. MAYBE. But not exclusively and not without oversight. You’re acting like it’s a clean answer. It’s not. The president has the executive privilege that he CAN declassify information. BUT that doesn’t mean he should. The question becomes did he use that power recklessly and ethically.

      The reason McMaster matters is that McMaster claimed that “I was there, and Trump did not reveal any privileged information.” And that would actually be fine. Except THEN the white house released a statement saying that he DID but in doing so declassified it. Which puts Trump at odds with McMaster and therefore creates the appearance of recklessness. Which, once again IS WHY HE IS FUCKING BEING INVESTIGATED!!!

      Let’s look at it this way. The president has the power to order drone strikes. This is unequivocally true. BUT, if Alec Baldwin is suddenly killed by a drone tomorrow and Trump issues a press release saying “Yeah, I decided he was a terrorist and took action” then you can bet your ass someone is going to look into it. Because the president is not a god. There are checks and balances for a reason.

      So now, lets bring Hillary back into the equation so you can see why your arguments are nonsensical. The Secretary of State has ALSO enjoys executive privilege in her capacity as an agent of the president. Which means she has the latitude in that capacity to share and dispose of privileged information. There is no doubt at all that Hillary had a security clearance. There is no doubt that was 100% in the right to use sensitive data. The WHOLE Clinton investigation was over whether or not she was criminally reckless in storing that information on her personal machine and whether or not she compromised national security in doing so.

      There was an investigation. It took years. And at the end, the principle investigator, James Comes, concluded, and testified before Congress, that there was no evidence of any criminal activity or security compromise BUT that he felt she was ethically reckless in doing so. Hillary tends to modify what he said and claim that Comey said she behaved appropriately. She’s lying. He didn’t say that. But he did say she caused no security risk and didn’t do anything technically illegal. Basically, he said what she did was dangerous and she got lucky.

      Now, when the same investigator, again James Comes, began his investigation into collusion with the Trump campaign, several problematic things happened. I’m going to humor you and ONLY talk about the stuff that the president himself acknowledges. This way you can’t pretend that the whole liberal media machine is out to get him.

      1) Trump claims that he knows he wasn’t under investigation because in the dinner where he was discussing whether or not Comey would stay on, he asked him three times. HE CAN’T DO THAT. If nothing else comes out of this, that’s a problem because by asking if he is under investigation (a stupid thing to ask, because any cop ever would tell a suspect no… especially a powerful one) in the same discussion as to whether or not that investigator is going to be fired, that is by definition coercion and obstruction of justice. This alone is enough to warrant an investigation where best case Trump behaved unethically if not criminally.

      2) Trump claims that he had decided to fire Comey because he was wasting time with the Russia investigation. Again, this is obstruction of justice. Again, if nothing else comes of this, that is enough to warrant an investigation where best case Trump behaved unethically if not criminally.

      3) The whitehouse’s official statement was that Comey was fired because he handled the Clinton investigation poorly. Trump is the one who put the Russia investigation on the table. This again goes to obstruction of justice. It is further complicated by the administration changing their story. This is enough to warrant an investigation where best case Trump behaved incompetently if not criminally.

      4) Trump acknowledges that he was warned of Flynn’s compromise by both the sitting president (at the time) Obama and the sitting Attorney General (at the time) Yates. Political or not, Trump ignored the their advice. The Whitehouse has since tried to control the story by stating that they knew Flynn was under investigation because he disclosed it before his appointment. Trump ignored that too. Furthermore, he fired Yates RIGHT AFTER she warned him about Flynn’s compromise. This is enough to warrant an investigation where best case scenario Trump behaved incompetently and unethically if not criminally.

      5) The McMaster thing that you’re talking about I already gave in detail. But again… Trump is the one that says he released the information to the Russians. McMaster gave a smarter answer. The president is the one who created the problem. This is again, enough to warrant an investigation as to whether or not he was incompetent or criminal, particularly if he actually did compromise security.

      6) Trump threatened Comey on twitter by insinuating that there could have tapes of their dinner conversation. He has refused to comment on it since, or allow Spicer’s office to comment on it. Because if there are such tapes, then he is immediately in danger of being impeached because their existence without being turned over to Congress for the archives would violate the Presidential Records Act of 1978, a law enacted after Watergate SPECIFICALLY to stop the president from doing what he was trying to do. I for one don’t believe the tapes exist. But right now it doesn’t matter, because him even saying that is enough to warrant an investigation into whether or not he is just too incompetent to know that was a law (likely) or whether he is directly in criminal violation of a law specifically designed to keep the president in check.

      All of that is BEFORE we even get to the actual Russia investigation. Literally each thing up there alone could get him in really bad trouble. WHICH IS WHY I WROTE THIS FUCKING ARTICLE IN THE FIRST PLACE.

      It’s not a question of politics or RNC vs DNC. Again, I’m not actually a democrat. The point is that the president appears to not be smart enough to realize the consequences of his actions and you seem to be blindly following along because you don’t really understand what’s going on and you hate Hillary Clinton (who is not at all a part this) so much that you refuse to acknowledge the problem…

      That… or you’re just dumb. That’s not even an insult. Like if you’re dumb, it’s actually kind of better than you actually believing that the argument you are making makes sense.

      I’ll even help you out by calling a couple friends of mine who are conservative but not idiots to help you out.

      Here you go… Max, Liz, Vic, Connie. You’re four conservative American citizens… I believe you’d all call yourselves Republicans even (actually, I think Vic would say he’s an independent. Not sure). I’ll also call in Strauss, who I think would probably call himself a libertarian leaning independent, IIRC. Are any of you willing to help Mr. Jeffrey Kertis out here and back him up and say “hey, Trump is behaving completely reasonably right here… and there’s nothing he should be worried about… it’s all just a liberal attempt at a coup!” Or would you rather just go with “nah, he’s an idiot and I’d really prefer he not try to ‘help’ us”?

    • avatar
      May 29, 2017 at 5:08 pm

      i’ll go with the nah he’s an idiot option

    • avatar
      May 29, 2017 at 5:08 pm

      I think I’m going to need a few drinks and half a pack of smokes before I tackle getting down to where my name is linked.

    • avatar
      May 29, 2017 at 5:21 pm

      Ain’t nobody got time for that.

    • avatar
      May 29, 2017 at 5:23 pm

      Actually, I think libertarianism is pretty much the dumbest ideology I have ever heard (it is anarchy for people who don’t have the courage to admit they support anarchy). I consider myself a solid moderate that prioritizes law and due process above most other concerns.

      However, I have no interest in backing up Jeffrey Kertis. He argues from ignorance and clearly without any background in logic or rhetoric. He also seems to have no interest in equality under the law or due process. He just wants Trump cleared and Clinton prosecuted for purely political reasons.

      As to the question at hand, Trump is not acting reasonably. Heck, if this were good old Honest Abe or George Washington (two beloved Presidents who at this point can basically do no wrong in anyone’s eyes) raised from the dead and serving another term, I’d still say they were acting unreasonably. He is acting erratically, annoying international allies, and responding in a way that makes him look like a man who thinks he is guilty.

      Heck, just due to the cloud of suspicion around him and Russia right now he should be crossing his t’s and dotting his i’s in any interactions with them. Instead he is acting like the investigation is a joke and performing actions that would have gotten people to look cross-eyed at Reagan, let alone Trump.

    • avatar
      May 29, 2017 at 8:25 pm

      More tomorrow if I have time, but for now, I’ll remind you that I was such a “Never Trump” believer that I wore a white rose on my bag starting in March 2016.

    • avatar
      May 29, 2017 at 8:37 pm

      I’m aware. That said…one might argue that that makes you more reasonable in this case.

      But the real question is Jeffrey here reasonable in his belief that Trump has done nothing wrong and this is all some witch hunt invented by the media?

    • avatar
      May 29, 2017 at 9:14 pm

      Legal reasonable doubt or reasonable because you want it to be true?

    • avatar
      May 29, 2017 at 10:28 pm

      neither. What I want to be true is irrelevant. And reasonable doubt only matters in a criminal legal proceeding and we’re WAY away from that were it to ever happen.

      This is a question of common sense and the ability to make coherent and logical arguments.

    • avatar
      May 30, 2017 at 3:52 am

      I didn’t say he has done nothing wrong. I said he hasn’t been charged with anything yet and I can no longer trust any reports from “unnamed sources”. You are pretty sure he is guilty of something. You really want him to be guilty of something. And you admit you are not holding him to a standard of reasonable doubt, in which plenty exists at this point.

      You have expended much time and energy trying to argue this point to what end? Even bringing in other people who had no involvement. To convince a single dumb person that you are right? That you are smarter than the rest of the world? I do not make a living from writing facebook comments. Perhaps you would feel that I would not do well in that line of work. So be it.

      So what is next, to resurrect whether not not OJ is guilty?

    • avatar
      May 30, 2017 at 5:41 am

      He’s been charged with exactly as much as Hillary Clinton.

    • avatar
      May 30, 2017 at 8:56 am

      Let’s look at the money, what’s the Vegas line odds?

  8. avatar
    May 24, 2017 at 6:32 pm

    If Pence and Trump go down, it’s more likely that the appointed replacement VP takes over a la Ford than that Ryan gets the call up. The latter would need lightning timing.

    • avatar
      May 24, 2017 at 6:41 pm

      Well not really lightening. In Nixon/Agnew there were two scandals. Agnew resigned and Ford took over just as people were learning about watergate.

      In this case if pence is dirty it would come up at the same time as trump so they’d likely both be removed.

      There’s no way Pence goes down before Trump like in Watergate. And I think the likelihood that Trump goes down making Pence president and the. pence going down later is pretty slim.

  9. avatar
    May 26, 2017 at 3:42 am

    Have you seen this analysis? At this point and after Gianforte’s win last night after body slamming a reporter, I am betting Trump stays in office until at least after the mid terms, and probably longer, unless something truly earth shattering is revealed (like Trump and Putin are video taped taking turns pooping on the Oval Office carpet together). Part of Republican’s political calculus has got to be that it is normal for the House to lose some seats during a mid term. At this point, Trump is not unpopular enough for his own party to dump him… https://fivethirtyeight.com/features/chance-donald-trump-impeached/

    • avatar
      May 26, 2017 at 6:21 am

      Yeah. I agree with him. I don’t think he’s realistically impeachable yet. And I kind of doubt he’ll ever me realistically indictable without serious help. I’m not convinced the DNC can even take the house in 2018.

      So o think realistically the question is how much brand damage can he do to the Address RNC and the office in four years time.

    • avatar
      May 26, 2017 at 6:37 am

      So, if the DNC cannot even take the house in 2018, is that not an indication that the republicans would have no real reason to break with Trump – a sign that he has not done that much real damage to the brand? I doubt they would impeach him because they felt he might not win a race against whatever Democratic contender there is in 2020.

    • avatar
      May 26, 2017 at 6:46 am

      Pretty much. Trump is pretty powerful because there are actually a lot of voters like Kertis and Nguyen. Right now he has to be protected because the feeling is that even though they don’t like him and he is hurting the conservative brand, at least he’s helping them get into office. It certainly isn’t useful to back a democrat. They don’t have a real shot of running anyone better until 2024 and that’s a long way off.

      So playing the long game they’re kinda stuck.

  10. avatar
    May 27, 2017 at 12:33 pm

    On the subject of what “legitimacy” means, from a libertarian perspective: https://niskanencenter.org/blog/care-whether-trump-legitimate-winner-election/

    • avatar
      May 27, 2017 at 12:35 pm

      Oh, just for the record, I have no idea who these Niskan Center people are. They are self-described libertarians and claim to not be partisan. I saw the Vox article and thought the additional material on their own site was interesting.

    • avatar
      May 31, 2017 at 11:43 am

      The Niskanen Center was founded by a former co-conspirator at ALEC. I think it’s safe to assume that whatever they say will be whatever the Koch Brothers want to have said.

    • avatar
      May 31, 2017 at 1:16 pm

      This guy needs to take a writing class.

  11. avatar
    May 31, 2017 at 9:20 am

    And apparently Comey will be testifying next week that Trump did in fact attempt to coerce him… you know, unless you think CNN is fake news and Congress is a fake Congress and Comey is a fake Comey and all that…

    http://www.cnn.com/2017/05/31/politics/fbi-comey-testimony/index.html

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