Tuesday, October 22, 2019

Converging Impeachment Strategies?

Who wants to impeach President Trump, and why? No sooner had I pointed out how threadbare was Pelosi's "non-fact sheet" and noted that, upon issuance of the counter factual screed, the Dems had admitted that impeachment isn't coming in the near term, than new theories on impeachment popped up. Let's review what's being said and see if there could be a convergence going on. It's a given that Trump is yanking multiple Establishment chains--hard!--but we need to look at what's going on from the standpoint of impeachment to evaluate it all.

First of all, we know for sure that the most vociferous--loudest in public--proponents of impeachment are the Progressives: broadly Cultural Marxist radicals. They see that Trump has empowered what I will call Cultural Conservatives, and so they are desperate to reverse the 2016 election.

The Trump coalition of Cultural Conservatives goes beyond religious "Social" Conservatives to embrace even non-religious people who are dismayed at the Progressive dismantling of broadly traditional American culture and values. Many of these Cultural Conservatives are former Dems, who have been marginalized in that party.

Since impeachment must originate in the House, it's Pelosi who bears the burden of threading the needle with regard to all the competing interests. She needs to allow Impeachment Theater to continue in order to appease her radicals, which now form the Dem base, yet if it gets too out of hand she risks permanent minority status. In a sense, the Ukraine Hoax works particularly well for Pelosi's purposes because it doesn't raise social or cultural issues in the way that the Kavanaugh nomination, for example, did. That means that Impeachment Theater can be conducted on seemingly technical legal grounds without directly alienating the non-radical voters the Dems as a party desperately need.

We all know that, and that's pretty much what we've been discussing. However, with the development of Trump's Syria policy, the issue of impeachment has put pressure on the GOP, as well. The overwhelming GOP repudiation of President Trump gave Pelosi much needed cover and breathing space, and the pushback against Trump in the Senate has come from GOPers like Mitch McConnell and Lindsey Graham. In turn, conservative pundits like Tucker Carlson and Rush Limbaugh have drawn attention to Graham's utter failure to conduct meaningful investigation of the Russia Hoax--as he had promised. At the same time Senator Burr is ginning up hearings on the Ukraine Hoax. What's going on here? Isn't this aid and comfort to the enemy?

Sundance at CTH has an alarming, or perhaps alarmist, post today in which he suggests that McConnell has thrown down a gauntlet before Trump--No troop withdrawals from Syria or Afghanistan OR ELSE: Impeachment! Of course, that "or else" is not in McConnell's tweet, which is more of a boilerplate Globalist talking point:

I won't say that this narrative is outright impossible, but there are definite complications that make it, IMO, unlikely.

The first question is, Who is McConnell seeking to please with this resolution? He has never been regarded as a truly strong leader on foreign policy, and sundance himself usually ties McConnell to the Chamber of Commerce, big business, rather than to the Neocons who are in full cry over Trump's Syrian initiative. My view is that the CofC is more concerned with what Trump is doing in the Pacific and with Britain than anything that's going on in Syria. From that standpoint, I would have to believe that the elements for a true impeachment coalition--CofC and Neocons joining with the radical House Dems--just aren't there. In addition, it's probably very late in the day to try to assemble such a coalition, what with Barr/Durham gaining momentum. Reaction from GOP voters could prove brutal.

Next we have to consider whether such an impeachment move would present risks to the GOP. In my view the risks are significant and prohibitive. Such a move against an extraordinarily popular president (with GOP voters: 97-3) would risk an implosion of the GOP as a political force. Neither GOP politicians nor the vested interests that rely on GOP support would want that. To cite two factors that McConnell is certainly aware of and that feed into this in major ways: 1) Trump's foreign policy positions are very popular with voters, and 2) Trump has developed into a fundraising juggernaut the likes of which the GOP may have never seen before.

My conclusion is that McConnell is introducing the resolution to provide cover for senators who, for fundraising purposes, need to appease Neocon moneymen. Beyond that, confrontation with Trump or any GOP president simply isn't McConnell's MO--IMO! McConnell has thwarted Trump on some issues, but Trump has to be extremely pleased with McConnell's work on judicial appointments in particular, which plays so well with Trump's voters. I think McConnell and his CofC backers will be looking for a modus vivendi with Trump, and Trump will be open to that. He did write The Art of the Deal, right?

However, there is another fascinating blog out today, that takes a deep dive into the issues surrounding the Syria situation in light of impeachment. It's by Tom Luongo and was republished at Zerohedge: Can Trump Survive Ending 'Project Syria'?

I disagree fundamentally with Luongo. Luongo maintains that impeachment is fundamentally about Trump's shift in Middle East policy. I simply can't buy that the radical Left of the Dems is being run by Neocons. Nevertheless, Luongo makes some important points about things that will be playing out in Trump's struggles with the Deep State, as well as more generally in the runup to 2020. Overall, my take is that Trump's partial disengagement in the Middle East--Syria is only one part of that--is a brilliant and long overdue move. Trump's actions have committed him to absolutely nothing. He has not transformed Russia into an international 800 lb. gorilla. Russia now has the unenviable task that we had previously--of trying to satisfy all the different mutally hating ethnicities and sects and would be empires. Trump has put the US in the position of being able to disengage and re-engage at will, and on our terms. Any player who wants our involvement will need to make it worth our while.

With that said, see what you think of what Luongo has to say.

Now that Trump has fully embraced ending some of the US’s involvement in Syria the knives have come out in full. There have been nothing but howls of pain from every corner of neoconservatism and liberal interventionism on both sides of the domestic political aisle, about how Trump is unfit for office because he abandoned the heroic Kurds to genocide by the Turks after fighting for freedom against the brutal Bashar al-Assad.

Let's not forget about Ukraine--to take just one example. Opposition to Trump's foreign policy is about a lot more than the Middle East.

This narrative is so wrong on so many levels that it amazes me anyone still promulgating it can do so without their brain seizing up from the cognitive dissonance. 
The Kurds were mercenaries in a cynical multi-country operation to atomize Syria into a failed state, a la the Libya model which John Bolton threatened North Korea with (and led to the public reason for his firing). ... 
This operation was paid for by the US, Saudi Arabia, Israel, the UK as well as sanctioned by EU leadership in Paris and Berlin. Russia’s intervention put the kibosh on all of it and the alliance formed in Syria’s defense between it, China, Hezbollah and Iran not only won back most of the country over the past four years but also defeated the Iraqi Kurds at Erbil after a failed rebellion by Mamoud Barzani and his Peshmerga forces. 
Once Aleppo was retaken, Raqqa demolished, and the Peshmerga defeated the Kurds’ fate was sealed. The past two and a half years have been nothing more than delaying actions against the day that Trump finally gained control over the White House insurrections amongst his staff and ordered the operation ended.
Trump ordering US troops out of the region put the Kurds on notice that they either make a deal with Russia and the Syrian government or get slaughtered by the Turks. That took all of a day. 
It also, as the great Pat Buchanan points out in his latest article, put the Saudis on notice that they no longer set US foreign policy objectives because they sell their oil in dollars and splash some money around D.C. and the media.
Their bloodthirst for war with Iran can be done on their dime or not at all.
The most shocking part in all of this is Trump just made the same statement to, of all people, Israel.
And that’s where the highest concentration of anguish is coming from in the media and elsewhere. 
Finally, a Republican president had the stones to call AIPAC’s bluff and stop kowtowing to them over their highly sought-after election funds. Trump doesn’t need AIPAC’s money anymore. He raised $125 million in Q3 and with these moves will likely raise more in Q4.
His firing John Bolton was the clue you needed that AIPAC and Sheldon Adelson were no longer important voices in Trump’s White House. He doesn’t need favorable media coverage from a media dominated by Saudi and Israeli money.
It’s not like he’s gotten good press from them on any consistent basis since 2015. He only gets that when he’s willing to bomb people in the name of their agendas and call it ‘freedom.’ 
... Trump is showing a strength we haven’t seen since Ronald Reagan pulled troops out of Beirut after the massacre of more than 200 marines in 1983.
That he didn’t immediately cave to the pressure like he did in December is noteworthy. ... 
.... John Bolton is out ... his replacement Robert O’Brien is gutting the National Security bureaucracy, reportedly cutting the staff in half. Good. That’s more than a hundred people no longer employed to feed the president false information to suit an agenda that contravenes US security.
These moves by Trump have upset the status quo in a fundamental way. It has blown up the narrative that we were in Syria to defeat ISIS. That was the cover story. And Trump has neatly called it out for exactly that.
The real story is that partitioning Syria has been the long-held goal of Israel, the neoconservatives, PNAC and so many others. And that goal is now looking to be out of reach lest they can convict Trump for doing his job for the first time since he became President. 
With the rapid changes happening across the region and the collapse of so many narratives concurrently, Trump is in an excellent position to make good on many of his long-delayed promises. 
What’s also clear is that Putin has played everyone in the region perfectly, balancing his relationships with Turkey, Saudi Arabia and Israel so that once Trump made his move to pull back the curtain in Syria, they would all turn to him to broker their terms. 
What’s also clear is that any move he makes now will be interpreted through the impeachment lens ... 
Trump has stepped on sacred ground here, US interventionist foreign policy. And, right now, only he has the platform and the ability to separate fact from fiction about its efficacy and who it really serves.


  1. Connecting dots. Epstein ran a sex trafficking ring using underage girls to entrap and collect blackmail evidence on many powerful men. He substantially worked for a private criminal cabal who provided the means and largely received protection from prosecution in exchange, but Epstein also ran OPs for the CIA and Mossad, who mostly banked the incriminating evidence for potential future use. This trove of blackmail evidence is now being used against nearly a dozen GOP senators with the expressed intent of intimidating them into opposing Trump and potentially voting to convict if impeachment moves forward. McConnell, like Pelosi, is desperately trying to thread the needle in a hurricane. He needs to satisfy the blackmailers while avoiding an actual senate trial and roll call vote. Trump has called their bluff and said "fine, convict me on bogus charges and go down in history as the miscreants who started Civil War 2.0". It's now a game of chicken. Very, very bumpy road ahead.

    1. I haven't lost track of Epstein, believe me. There's another potentially big story just breaking. This is getting very hairy. Or so it seems to me. I've said that I think Establishment DC is looking to come to some arrangement with Trump. Trump ... I don't know. He wrote "The Art of the Deal" but this time he may be playing for all the marbles. We'll see.

  2. So the Dems and GOPers in the Senate would convict Trump for the high crime and misdemeanor of disagreeing with it on Syria?


    Good luck selling that to the 63 million Americans who voted for DJT in 2016...

    1. Exactly. I understand that there could be lots of people in the GOPe with their backs to the wall, but the party as a whole can't be that suicidal.

    2. Lets see if they are really the stupid party.

      Rob S

  3. Broken record time. I say that as long as the President is popular, he will not be impeached.

    As you note, the Reps need him. He needs them, too, but he's way more popular than they.

  4. Leader McConnell's statement leaves out any mention of a reason, e.g. US national security interest, for a strong presence or to oppose "premature" withdrawal from Syria or Afghanistan.

    In other words, it encourages the status quo--as a stand on principle, it must be the least principled on record.

    Afghanistan is 18 years of stand still, at great American cost in lives--a tremendous waste, at best. Syrian presence cannot be called strong or significant, or even purposeful at this point.

    An embarrassing statement from McConnell.

    1. Right. Nothing constructive on offer here, and the voters know it.