The Impeachment Worked

I've been seeing a lot of people talk about how the impeachment of Donald Trump is a waste of time and money. I've long heard people say it would never work, and it appears they are correct... in a way. However, I think this impeachment has done exactly what it was supposed to do.

The Democratic leadership didn't pursue impeachment for many previous offenses, even as many Democrats called for them to do so. The reason is they never expected Donald Trump to be ousted by any impeachment trial. The purpose of this impeachment trial was to make a case for the public to see how craven the Republican defenders of Donald Trump are. This was ultimately just a way of saying, "We (probably) can't stop Trump because his sycophants are in control. If you vote for them again, this is what you'll get."

Republican defenders of Trump don't want to see evidence. They don't want to hear from witnesses. They don't want to have any discussion of Trump's behavior at all. They will do practically everything in their power to stop any examination of Trump's behavior because their view is Donald Trump is their party, therefore no opposition to him can be tolerated. Note, I said he *is* their party, not he is *of* their party.

You cannot be a Republican and oppose Trump in any meaningful way, You will be driven out of the party. Many people already have been. That level of willful polarization in the party is a depressing state of affairs, but it is also the best state of affairs Democrats could hope for. Their message is becoming, "If you think it is bad to have a king as president, with no checks on his power, don't vote Republican."

I wouldn't care to predict if this approach will pay dividends in terms of election results, but it has certainly worked in terms of messaging. I'd wager almost nobody believes Trump and his supporters are acting with any integrity at this point. Even the people who defend him largely recognize it's purely for partisan reasons. Ask some of them, and they'll all say basically the same thing, "It's 'us' versus 'them,' and any member of 'us' is better than 'them.'"

26 comments

  1. > I wouldn't care to predict if this approach will pay dividends in terms of election results, but it has certainly worked in terms of messaging. I'd wager almost nobody believes Trump and his supporters are acting with any integrity at this point. Even the people who defend him largely recognize it's purely for partisan reasons. Ask some of them, and they'll all say basically the same thing, "It's 'us' versus 'them,' and any member of 'us' is better than 'them.'"

    I wandered over to Lucia's a while back and (effectively) offered the opinion that it's absurd to believe that Trump's actions vis-a-vis Ukraine funding where motivated by a "concern" about corruption. I suggested that even Trump's supporters/Democrat haters know in their hearts that he's a stone cold inveterate liar who uses lying as a deliberate political strategy.

    I came away thinking that even many smart, informed Trump supporters and/or Democrat haters don't really match my expectations in that regard. My impression that many if the folks I encountered there - to my surprise - actually think that Trump and his team act with integrity.

    Of course, I could have read the situation wrong. Or even, quite likely, the group of online activists there don't form a very representative sampling. But still, it had me wondering if the power of motivated reasoning actually does lead such people to conclude that Trump and his team act with integrity despite the abundance evidence otherwise. Maybe the Pubz in the senate really do believe the arguments the offered during the impeachment "trial."

    There is a lot of evidence that people who identify with Trump (like pretty much anyone else who has a relatively solid ideological identity) would likely only be further locked into that identification if presented with evidence of Trump's malfeasance. I suppose there is a band of "persuadables" aren't affected by such a mechanism - but the Trump propaganda machine is very effective. For example:

    https://www.cnn.com/videos/business/2020/02/06/trump-supporters-social-media-foreman-lead-vpx.cnn

    There is good reason to believe that a great deal of people primarily get their information through such channels

  2. > However, I think this impeachment has done exactly what it was supposed to do.

    I'm not sure how to evaluate that, as what it was "supposed to do" differs for people of differing perspectives. I spoke to a lot of people who felt that the Trump impeachment would weaken his position going in to the 2020 election. I'd say it's early, and difficult anyway, to make an assessment, but I don't think it's clear that it has done what it was "supposed to do" from that angle.

    Other I spoke to felt that the impeachment would hold him "accountable" for his behavior. I suppose some think in that sense it has done what it was supposed to do. From my perspective, it isn't really the case, however; IMO, you haven't held someone accountable for corrupt behavior if after the holding of accountability they come out stronger and more emboldened to engage in the same activities than before the process of accountability. I tend to think that was the outcome in this case.

    > The purpose of this impeachment trial was to make a case for the public to see how craven the Republican defenders of Donald Trump are.

    I think that the impeachment had very little differential effect in that regard. IMO, those who after the impeachment think that Trump defenders are craven were pretty much exactly the same set of people who saw Trump defenders in exactly the same way prior to the impeachment. I don't see any solid evidence that many minds were changed in that regard, or opinions formed significantly on the basis of the impeachment proceedings.

    > That level of willful polarization in the party is a depressing state of affairs, but it is also the best state of affairs Democrats could hope for.

    I don't see how that state of affairs is particularly good for the Demz. Aside from just being an overall lousy state of affairs (vitriol, hateful polarization, etc.) that leads to an largely dysfunctional government, it also seems to me that outcome is more than likely detrimental to Demz' political objectives of increasing their governmental footprint. Even if in some way the impeachment process leads to wider deficit in his vote total against his opponent in 2020 (which I rather doubt will happen), it seems very unlikely to me that it will decrease or reverse his EC advantage. Seems to me that while his deficit in blue areas might grow compared to 2016 (which could have happened, or could have happened to a greater degree w/o the impeachment), his advantage in the key swing states could well grow because his supporters are energized by the impeachment proceedings.

    > Their message is becoming, "If you think it is bad to have a king as president, with no checks on his power, don't vote Republican."

    Yes, that's the message that is being delivered - but that's a message that only Trump opponents think has any validity. Those who aren't Trump opponents thinks that's just an unfair distortion being pushed by people who hate Trump and can't stand his victory in 2016.

    Seems to me that there is very little conclusive evidence on these issues and much conflicting evidence that could point in either direction...buy my gut tells me that in the end the impeachment certainly did not do what it was supposed to do, overall. Yes, for those who already thought that Trump is not fit to be president, the impeachment served as evidence to them that they were right about that; but I think that Demz had larger aspirations.

    That isn't to say that I consider the impeachment a mistake, however. At some level, I think the Demz had little choice - as looking at Trump's behaviors and just saying "Well, there's nothing we can really do about it so we should just effectively accept it," was not really a viable option either.

  3. Joshua, you seem to be operating under the impression when I refer to things like Republican defenders of Trump, I'm referring to politicians and the like. I am not. I am referring to all Republicans who defend Trump, most of whom are just regular citizens. The purpose I referred to is what's known as hardening positions. It's increasing polarization to force people to adopt clearer positions so there are fewer "undecideds" and less room to exploit uncertainty/confusion. I don't see much, if anything, in your comments which addresses that.

    Even if we want to ignore that aspect, there are still clear signs the impeachment had some effects Democrats wanted. For instance, due to the impeachment, multiple Republican Senators voted to acquit Trump even though they publicly acknowledged he was guilty. Notably, Lamar Alexander (who is retiring in 2020) said it was so clear Trump was guilty there was no need for witnesses or additional evidence. Marco Rubio flat-out said he was going to violate his duty to uphold the Constitution in order to protect Trump. Heck, you even had Mitt Romney side with the Democrats, calling Trump out. That's a pretty big deal. You can be certain people like Cory Gardner and Martha McSally are going to be asked time and time again why he disagreed with Romney while running for reelection.

    Then there are many non-politicians who've been forced to take positions over this. Some have involved big things, like John Bolton being demonized by many Republicans, a move that will hurt the party in many ways for years to come. Some have involved smaller things, like Chris Wallace of Fox News calling out other Fox News contributors/Republicans numerous times, to the point Trump went after him. Believe it or not, things like that matters. If Chris Wallace gets forced out like Shepard Smith was, it'll matter. Not only does this sort of thing affect some people fairly directly, it has a huge impact on the Republican party's ability to function well. Trump has been plagued by a constant inability to find competent people to fill positions. It's caused him many problems. The same thing is true for the Republican party in general. The less cohesive and competent the Republican party becomes, the better off Democrats will be.

    I don't see how that state of affairs is particularly good for the Demz.

    I said it was the best state of affairs the Democrats could hope for. I'm not sure how saying it's a bad state of affairs addresses that. There's a reason the phrase "make the best of a bad situation" exists.

    Yes, that's the message that is being delivered - but that's a message that only Trump opponents think has any validity. Those who aren't Trump opponents thinks that's just an unfair distortion being pushed by people who hate Trump and can't stand his victory in 2016.

    I'll always find it intriguing how you can state with absolute certainty what people do or do not think. You do it all the time in your repetitive ramblings on partisan identity, and you are wrong a lot of times. I can personally attest to half a dozen people who support Trump and don't disagree with that message.

  4. > Joshua, you seem to be operating under the impression when I refer to things like Republican defenders of Trump, I'm referring to politicians and the like.

    Yeah, I can see why you thought that - given that I used the folks over at Lucia's as an example of the phenomena I was talking about. Lol.

    > It's increasing polarization to force people to adopt clearer positions so there are fewer "undecideds" and less room to exploit uncertainty/confusion. I don't see much, if anything, in your comments which addresses that.

    Look harder.

    And if you could, would you present the evidence you use to conclude that the impeachment had a differential effect of significantly reducing the number of undecideds? I see evidence suggesting a variety of outcomes, with no clear answer. But maybe you're looking at different evidence than what I've seen.

    > Even if we want to ignore that aspect, there are still clear signs the impeachment had some effects Democrats wanted.

    I agree that it may have had "some" effect the Democrats wanted. And it also, IMO, had "some" effects they didn't want. And other effect that they wanted didn't materialize. The relevant question, IMO, is the balance of all of those outcomes. To say it had "some effects Democrats wanted" is pretty meaningless absent context.

    > For instance, due to the impeachment, multiple Republican Senators voted to acquit Trump even though they publicly acknowledged he was guilty. Notably, Lamar Alexander (who is retiring in 2020) said it was so clear Trump was guilty there was no need for witnesses or additional evidence. Marco Rubio flat-out said he was going to violate his duty to uphold the Constitution in order to protect Trump. Heck, you even had Mitt Romney side with the Democrats, calling Trump out. That's a pretty big deal. You can be certain people like Cory Gardner and Martha McSally are going to be asked time and time again why he disagreed with Romney while running for reelection.

    Romney, as basically the only Pub who's really willing to substantively criticize Trump (yes, others were willing to criticize his actions even as they justify them and line up in praise of his presidency or say that the problems with his actions are dwarfed by all his great achievements - and then take the opportunity to list them), may well be in a weakened position. Is that what Democrats wanted? Moderate Demz like Doug Jones and Joe Manchin may well have become more vulnerable in the Senate. Is that what they wanted? McSally has strongly embraced her Trump sycophancy? Is that what the Demz wanted if, in the end, it leads to making her candidacy stronger (it has been a fund-raising boom for her)?

    Again, I say that determining whether the impeachment got the Demz what they want is a rather complicated assessment, not one that lends itself well to conclusions that are as facile as yours.

    > Then there are many non-politicians who've been forced to take positions over this. Some have involved big things, like John Bolton being demonized by many Republicans, a move that will hurt the party in many ways for years to come. Some have involved smaller things, like Chris Wallace of Fox News calling out other Fox News contributors/Republicans numerous times, to the point Trump went after him. Believe it or not, things like that matters.

    I don't see where you get your certainty about the differential effect of that. Bolton being criticized by Trump is rather like Sessions being criticized by Trump, or Tillerson, or Kelly, or Mattis, or Flake, or...blah blah. What has has the differential effect of all of that been? How do you know? Is there some reason to think that this will be different than all those developments?

    > If Chris Wallace gets forced out like Shepard Smith was, it'll matter.

    If? I think it's unlikely, so what if not? But now you're acknowledging the uncertainty that I was stressing. Now you're saying, effectively, if we have more evidence then we'll have evidence. You're helping to stress my point, that it's rather hard to tell at this point - in contrast to the certain conclusions you voiced elsewhere.

    > Not only does this sort of thing affect some people fairly directly, it has a huge impact on the Republican party's ability to function well. Trump has been plagued by a constant inability to find competent people to fill positions. It's caused him many problems. The same thing is true for the Republican party in general. The less cohesive and competent the Republican party becomes, the better off Democrats will be.

    I see relatively little indication that Trump is having a lot of difficulty achieving what he wants to do, and little evidence that his difficulty in that regard has been increasing concurrent with the pattern of his consolidation of his power through a winnowing out of any resistance in Pub party. The difficulties he has filling positions to some degree just means that in the end, he appoints more extreme people to fill the open positions, or he just leaves them unfilled. I don't see much evidence of that slowing him down or preventing him from doing what he wants to do. IMO, what Trump mostly cares about is his political status. He doesn't really have much in the way of ideology. And there seems to be evidence that he's having some success in reaching that goal. "Huge impact?" I don't see it. I see Lots of stuff going on where the Pubz are having increasingly less trouble implementing a rather extreme legislative agenda. But we'll see what happens with the election. Mostly that's where we'll see the real impact. If something happens like Trump loses and the Demz take over the Senate, then maybe you're right - although even there it would be hard to really tease out the effect of the impeachment from the myriad other influences. If Trump wins and the Demz lose a few seats, maybe it would mean the effects of the impeachment were opposite.

    > I said it was the best state of affairs the Democrats could hope for. I'm not sure how saying it's a bad state of affairs addresses that. There's a reason the phrase "make the best of a bad situation" exists.

    So here's an example of an alternative. Suppose instead of the impeachment, the Demz had simply followed though on more extensive investigations, revealing basically the same evidence of corruption, and still putting Pubz in the position of sycophancy, but make public statements that they didn't want to impeach because they felt it would fan partisan hostilities. Suppose that had the effect of exposing the same material without having the same effect of mobilizing Trump's base. Doing so would have disabled Trump's ability to leverage "acquittal" for his political advantage. Would that, possibly, have been the "best" they could have hoped for? It's interesting that you have the ability to not only determine what Demz might have hoped for, but also to see beyond all the uncertainties to determine that the current outcomes are the best that Demz could have hoped for.

    > I'll always find it intriguing how you can state with absolute certainty what people do or do not think. You do it all the time in your repetitive ramblings on partisan identity, and you are wrong a lot of times. I can personally attest to half a dozen people who support Trump and don't disagree with that message.

    I didn't mean to suggest that there aren't any people who support Trump and don't disagree with that message. I have encountered quite a few also. What I was going for is to question your assumptions about the balance among the different ways that people see the effects of what took place. My experience over at Lucia's showed me that despite my expectations, in fact there are probably quite a few people - smart and informed people - who actually think that Trump and his supporters on Congress acted with integrity, and in fact it is the Demz who acted without integrity.

  5. Joshua, I'm going to stick to one point because experience shows lengthy disagreements with you are pointless once you become snide as you will disappear, often without warning, seemingly when you run out of ways to defend what you say (with the likelihood of your disappearance seeming to increase the more ridiculous and unjustifiable the things you've said are). Let's see if we can avoid that by focusing on a single, simple point at a time. I'll start at the top of your comment:

    > Joshua, you seem to be operating under the impression when I refer to things like Republican defenders of Trump, I'm referring to politicians and the like.

    Yeah, I can see why you thought that - given that I used the folks over at Lucia's as an example of the phenomena I was talking about. Lol.

    This response shows a fundamental misunderstanding of what I said. The disagreement began when I referred to one set of people's views about a second set of people. That gives us a form of, "X's views of Y..." You cited the views of people at Lucia's blog, meaning they were in set X.

    I responded by saying you seemed to have misunderstood which set I said set Y was. I said it seemed you thought I was discussing set Y as being Republican politicians and the like when in reality I was referring to all Republican defenders of Trump, most of whom are regular citizens.

    That you referred to people commenting on a blog as examples of set X does nothing to address my point that you seem to have misunderstood who was in set Y. So while you can make snide demands like:

    Look harder.

    All I can say is learn to read. Being snide only works if you're right.

  6. Brandon -

    > > Joshua, you seem to be operating under the impression when I refer to things like Republican defenders of Trump, I'm referring to politicians and the like.

    Not only was that not an impression that I was operating under, I think it was also plainly obvious, if you had read more closely, that wasn't the case - which is why I think you should read harder. I'd say that you were operating under that misimpression either because you weren't reading closely or because you were reading in bad faith. Of course, it could have been because what I wrote was unclear or misleading - but your impression was one that was rather absurd. Why would I think that when you refer to "Republican defenders of Trump" given the size of the set of people that descriptor would include, you were in fact referring only to a relatively tiny set of politicians and the like? Your default should have been that I wouldn't be under such an impression. And the fact that I referenced people who were not politicians and the like should have been further evidence that I wasn't under the impression that you either (1) mistakenly thought I was under or (2) pretended to think that I was under to score rhetorical points by suggesting that my disagreement with you was because I interpreted what you said in an absurd manner.

    And this is related to why I "disappear" in convos with you (a bad faith characterization, BTW). Again, that is an analysis of an incurious and shallow nature. There are other, very simple and obvious reasons why I might stop exchanging in convos with you.

    Put on your thinking cap and I'm sure you could come up with some possibilities. Then use your smarts to determine which of the explanations would be most plausible. There's probably a reason why your misimpression about my "disappearances" is so completely wrong (and invariably align with a bad faith interpretation).

  7. A not terribly profound article that relies mostly on anecdotes and anecdotal reasoning....but I think is on point w/r/t my comments.

    https://www.nytimes.com/2020/02/08/us/trump-impeachment-wisconsin-republicans.html

    In some ways it aligns with your point about fence-sitting, but I'd say in a way that suggests a strong contrast to your - best they Demz could have hoped for - conclusion.

    Mostly, I think that the article underlines the vast array of uncertainties (e.g. did the impeachment energize pubz or demz more?, would a failure to impeach have suppressed demz turnout? , did the impeachment push moderates towards or away from Trump?, etc.). Maybe after the election we'll have a better picture. Or maybe not.

  8. Joshua:

    Not only was that not an impression that I was operating under, I think it was also plainly obvious, if you had read more closely, that wasn't the case - which is why I think you should read harder.

    For all your verbiage, you do absolutely nothing to address what I said in my explanation of how you referencing the people at Lucia's blog does nothing to contradict what I said. You can say:

    And this is related to why I "disappear" in convos with you (a bad faith characterization, BTW). Again, that is an analysis of an incurious and shallow nature. There are other, very simple and obvious reasons why I might stop exchanging in convos with you.

    But the reality is you ignored everything I said to write a longwinded comment that does nothing but repeats yourself ad nauseum. This is not how conversations work. This is how selfish rambling sabotages conversations. And it's something you do all the time. Almost every time you say something ridiculous here, you refuse to address what is said in response. Usually you do so while making a longwinded comment about how it's all other people's fault even as you fail to address anything they say, then you disappear.

    If what I said were wrong as you pretend, it would be trivially easy to explain how it is wrong. You didn't even try. I can only see two plausible scenarios: 1) You know you could offer such an explanation and refuse to. 2) You know you can't offer such an explanation and you're pretending not to know such. Neither of those is good or something a person genuinely interested in having discussions should do.

    If there's another explanation, I'm not seeing it. Maybe you could offer one. Or maybe you could keep doing what you always do when you can't come up with an answer to inconvenient matters - dissemble and disappear.

  9. So I was thinking about something, and I'm curious. Given this repetitive pattern of behavior, along with the repetition of the same basic points over and over and over, and the repeated verbiage making up Joshua's derisive remarks, I wonder what the odds are I could make fake comments from joshua that'd be indistinguishable from the real ones to most people.

    I give it 80-20 odds if we did a blind test with me commenting at various sites pretending to be him, nobody would notice the difference.

  10. > But the reality is you ignored everything...

    Actually, I didn't ignore any of it. I just figure that some of it isn't worth responding on, so I don't bother. Again, it's facile to conclude that the reason I didn't respond is because I "ignored" it. You reach certain conclusions without thinking through the varioua alternative explanations - jusf as I pointed out with your original post.

    I see people online frequently complain that their conversation partner is "wasting" their time. I always find that noteworthy in its cluelessness - because no one else has the power to decide how we choose to spend our time.

    So, when I see issues where I think it's pointless to get you to discuss what I'm interested in discussing, I don't bother. That's me choosing to not waste my time. I don't particularly care if you stamp your feet and whine in protest (given your tendency towards semantics, i was speaking figuratively). You're certainly entitled to think the reason why I don't bother to respond to you sometimes is because I'm intimidated. That's a common, and often mistaken, type of conclusion that people make when people don't respond to comments online. You're wrong in this case, but you're certainly entitled to draw that conclusion and I see no particular reason to spend much energy disabusing you of your misconception (other than to tell you that you're wrong). Imo, to do so would be a waste of my time. I don't care that much if you draw thar conclusion. I'd rather you think more deeply and introspectively about the reasons why I sometimes don't respond to you because I think that if you did so we might have some more productive discussions - but im content to allow you to get to that point in your own time and in your own way if it ever happens, and I doubt that I could have any influence over whether you will get there.

  11. Anywho, I'm going to "disappear" now, unless you're interested in actually discussing the political issues. That's is something of interest to me*.

    *(of course, we all know the real reason I'll disappear is because I'm too intimidated to defend my arguments against your brilliant analysis)

  12. One more comment before I "disappear."

    > : 1) You know you could offer such an explanation and refuse to....

    That's actually fairly close - except I'm not "refusing" to do anything. As usual, I think I've already offered an explanation that should be obvious to anyone engaging in good faith. That you don't see that I've already given an explanation serves as evidence to me that further attempts to explain would be a waste of my time. Go back and read it again if you still really don't understand and really are trying to understand. I'm quite confident that a good faith reading will satisfy your curiosity.

    In situations where I'm encountering someone for the first time, or maybe the first couple of times, I might try harder and repeat my explanations or spend time trying to find an alternative way to express myself. But I have found, over several exchanges with you that are similar in nature, that such attempts are a waste of my time. In fact, offering you THIS explanation is a waste of my time as I know that I've offered basically this same explanation to you in the past and it you still lock in to the same misunderstanding.

    That's cool. So sometimes I waste my time. I have some time to kill so no big deal. And you never know, miracles can happen, eh?

    But I would like to get back to the political discussion.

  13. Joshua, I gave you a very simple explanation of why your claim referencing the commenters at Lucia's blog doesn't support the idea you interpreted what I said in m y post correctly. You did not address that explanation at all. You claim to have offered an explanation as to why it was wrong, yet you don't point to it, quote it or rephrase it. You just say it's there any anyone who doesn't see it is acting in bad faith.

    That's not how conversations work. If someone says, "You didn't address X," the correct response is not to say, "Yes I did. You're just acting in bad faith so now I'm going to leave." The correct response is to say, "Yes I did. I said Y, which addresses what you said because Z." That you won't even attempt something like this shows you are acting in bad faith. When a claim's veracity is challenged, with it being said not to be true, it is acting in bad faith to respond by saying, "Uh-huh, it is true."

    The worst part of all this is you keep acting as though you don't understand a very simple point. You keep saying things like

    And the fact that I referenced people who were not politicians and the like should have been further evidence that I wasn't under the impression...

    My post talked about how the impeachment impacted views people hold of Republican defenders of Trump. You cited the views of commenters at Lucia's blog, people who (more or less) are Republican defenders of Trump. In other words, I talked about how Trump supporters are viewed by other people, you talked about how Trump supporters view... Trump. The distinction could not be simpler or clearer. Or more important.

    That you won't even comment on it is bizarre.

  14. I'll do a quick recap with small excerpts to show how this exchange went. Starting in my post:

    I'd wager almost nobody believes Trump and his supporters are acting with any integrity at this point.

    Here I explained how I don't think many people believe Trump and his supporters are acting with integrity. This statement was intended to refer to Trump's supporters amongst the general population as well as in political positions. From Joshua's first response:

    regard. My impression that many if the folks I encountered [at lucia's blog] - to my surprise - actually think that Trump and his team act with integrity.

    He refers to how (some) people at Lucia's blog view "Trump and his team." Trump's "team" appeared to me to refer to Trump's administration, his political allies, and people like that. It did not seem to cover people like the commenters at Lucia's blog whose views Joshua referred to:

    Joshua, you seem to be operating under the impression when I refer to things like Republican defenders of Trump, I'm referring to politicians and the like. I am not. I am referring to all Republicans who defend Trump, most of whom are just regular citizens.

    I said "defenders" instead of "supporters" here, but the point was to refer to how Joshua was discussing how (seemingly) Republican supporters of Trump viewed "Trump and his team" rather than how people view Republican supporters of Trump like those at Lucia's blog. Joshua's response:

    Yeah, I can see why you thought that - given that I used the folks over at Lucia's as an example of the phenomena I was talking about. Lol.

    This all happened because I said it seemed Joshua mixed up the views people hold of Republican supporters of Trump and the views Republican supporters of Trump hold. His response has consistently been to point to the views Republican supporters of Trump hold, not views people hold of Republican supporters of Trump. He's thrown a hissy fit because he seems unwilling to discuss or understand a simple distinction - views people hold about a group vs. views the group holds.

  15. Barr as head of the DOJ.

    This guy in at the DHS.

    https://www.cnn.com/2020/02/12/politics/chad-mizelle-department-of-homeland-security/index.html

    Pompeo as Secretary of State.

    Esper in as Secretary of Defense.

    His loyalist sycophants are further enhancing his power. He's winnowing out any obstacles.

    Sorry, Brandon but the argument that an inability to appoint people is deterring him from reaching his goals stands in contrast to reality.

    The notion that the impeachment only increased that deterance is obviously wrong. He's doing things now that he would very likely have been reluctant to risk previously. In the very least, it's clear that he's not feeling more constrained post impeachment.

    Not to mention his polling numbers reaching the highest levels of his presidency post impeachment. Hard to definitively pin that on the impeachment per se, but I'd venture to guess that Demz might, just possibly, have hoped for something better. Lol.

  16. Hey Joshua, I've told you this before, but you don't get to ignore what people say and just post whatever you want here. That is called spam. If you want to make a bunch of derisive remarks, that will be tolerated only insofar as you make them while discussing things people say. What you just did is not remotely okay, and I have to assume you are perfectly aware of that. Goodness knows you've openly said you feel entitled not to follow site's rules, to act in bad faith and to troll people before.

    But since you've decided to come back to be a troll, I'll point out something that irked me before which didn't seem worth commenting on at the time. You made remarks like:

    You're certainly entitled to think the reason why I don't bother to respond to you sometimes is because I'm intimidated. That's a common, and often mistaken, type of conclusion that people make when people don't respond to comments online.

    *(of course, we all know the real reason I'll disappear is because I'm too intimidated to defend my arguments against your brilliant analysis)

    Even though I never once said or suggested you were intimidated. You can create strawmen to act all high and mighty if you want, but nobody will take you seriously. If anyone happens to read this thread and aren't part of some echo chamber with you, they'll laugh at, or at least roll their eyes at, you because that's the only reaction your behavior merits.

  17. Oh, and just to reiterate Joshua, "Trump and his team" is not the same thing as Trump and his supporters throughout the population at large. I know you may want to change the subject to avoid dealing with that basic truth, but I don't think it's going to work.

  18. I'm interested in talking about the politics, Brandon. Why don't you focus on that. It's really not all about me.

    I think the Demz might have hoped for more:

    https://www.nytimes.com/2020/02/12/opinion/trump-campaign-2020.html?referringSource=articleShare

    > Marquette compared the percentages of self-identified Republicans and Democrats over the five years from 2012 to 2016 with the percentages in the four-year period from 2017 to 2020. In the earlier period, Democrats held a five point advantage in partisan identification, 48-43. In the more recent period, Republicans pulled slightly ahead, 45-44, as the accompanying chart shows.

    This trend has accelerated in recent months. The Republican advantage held during the first eight months of last year, but in the most recent seven month period, from August 2019 to the present, Republicans have pulled ahead by four points, 47 to 43.

    ****

    There are other signs of that trend in addition to what's pointed out in this article.

    Recent Pubz gains in polling relative to Demz unrelated to the impeachment proceedings?

    Could be, but I know I would have hoped for more.

  19. Oh, and also, I never made this argument:

    Sorry, Brandon but the argument that an inability to appoint people is deterring him from reaching his goals stands in contrast to reality.

    So either you're rambling about nonsense or you're really bad at reading what people say.

  20. Joshua, you say:

    I'm interested in talking about the politics, Brandon. Why don't you focus on that. It's really not all about me.

    But if a person refuses to attempt to resolve the simplest of points, there's no reason to think discussion on other matters will be productive. This is especially true if in the process of willfully violates the rules of a site. If your response to a moderators instructions on what sort of behavior is and is not allowed is to ignore what they tell you, you shouldn't be surprised if they fail to be baited by you into discussing other matters.

    Put bluntly, you are being a troll. You are aware of this. You've admitted to doing this on purpose in the past. I have no reason to fall for it.

  21. > Oh, and also, I never made this argument:

    So either you're rambling about nonsense or you're really bad at reading what people say.

    ****

    Well, glad that we have at least one point of agreement - that Trump's difficulties with making appointments isn't a deterance for him achieving his agenda. Sorry that I misunderstood your viewpoint.

  22. Dear lord Joshua, how are you this bad at reading?

    Well, glad that we have at least one point of agreement - that Trump's difficulties with making appointments isn't a deterance for him achieving his agenda. Sorry that I misunderstood your viewpoint.

    First you somehow conclude I argued Trump's inability to get people appointed gets in the way of him achieving his agenda. When I point out I didn't make that argument, you conclude that means I agree that argument is wrong. That's nonsense. I didn't comment on the idea so there's no way for you to know what my thoughts on the idea is.

    For a person who constantly (and incorrectly) complains I treat opinion as fact, it's amazing how often you conclude things as certain based solely upon your inability to read simple sentences. Please, for the love of god, learn to read. Or if that's not possible, learn to ask questions about what people think before concluding you know what they think.

    Of course, that's all assuming you're not doing this on purpose. I try to be charitable in my interpretations of what people say, but I'm not sure if it's more charitable to assume a person is dishonest or borderline illiterate.

  23. > Of course, that's all assuming you're not doing this on purpose. I try to be charitable in my interpretations of what people say, but I'm not sure if it's more charitable to assume a person is dishonest or borderline illiterate

    Try considering if there are any other possibilities. Brandon. Put on your thinking cap. Be creative. Try a touch of cognitive empathy.

    Or maybe you're right and the only two possibilities are that I'm dishonest or borderline illiterate (I am grateful that you at least gave me the borderline!).

    Any time you're ready to talk about the politics , let me know. I'm still interested in how you reached your remarkable conclusion that Trump's rise in the polls, nearly universal enthusiastic support in the Pubz party, etc., is the best outcome the Demz could have expected. Lol.

  24. Sorry Joshua, if you consistently create strawmen so as to make derisive remarks about people then refuse to make any effort to resolve disagreements, the only options I can see are stupidity or dishonesty. If there are other options, presumably you could provide one. That you choose not to only supports the idea there are no other options. That will remain true no matter how much you, issue orders for other people to find an explanation you refuse to provide.

    For the record, willful stupidity and self-deception are both covered by what I listed. As would being blind drunk. I can't imagine what explanation wouldn't be.

    I'm sure you have some super secret answer you think shows me I"m wrong. I'm also sure it's wrong. And probably stupid.

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