Wednesday, October 30, 2019

McConnell Slams Impeachment Theater

Not long ago I asked: Is McConnell Falling Into Line? This morning the Majority Leader provided evidence, in a speech on the floor of the Senate, that he and the Senate GOP may have come to agreement on a strategy with regard to the House Dem Impeachment Theater. Lindsey Graham's resolution condemning the ongoing Impeachment Theater for its lack of basic fairness--which means Due Process--garnered near unanimous GOP support (50 signatories, so far) and prepared the way for Senator McConnell's remarks this morning. McConnell's words reflect the position that the Graham resolution sets out in general terms. That's important, because building a majority position in the Senate is always a complicated business, and the Majority Leader has only a limited amount of leverage to exert--even in so important a matter as this.

In assessing McConnell's words and his resolve there are two factors to consider.

The first is, obviously, party loyalty and the strengthy of Trump's support. The idea that even anti-Trump senators would vote to commit political suicide has always been a fantasy.

The second factor is loyalty to the Senate as an institution. The Senate is faced not just with an out of control partisan political theater in the Dem controlled House. It is also faced with an aggressively Imperialist House that is, in effect, attempting to dictate to the Senate. The outrageous conduct of the House Dems asserts that the House is the leading half of Legislative Branch and that the Senate must conduct a trial if the House instructs it to do so. McConnell is not about to lay down for that. The Senate, as we are told, is steeped in tradition, and senators are unlikely to allow the Pelosis and Schiffs of Washington to relegate them to a ceremonial role.

Thus, McConnell's words, brief though they were, throw down a gauntlet by raising the issue of due process in no uncertain terms--McConnell: House impeachment resolution 'falls way short':

“They have denied President Trump basic due process and are cutting his counsel out of the process in an unprecedented way. House Democrats' new resolution does not change any of that,” McConnell said.
“The draft resolution that has been released does nothing of the sort. It falls way short, way short,” he added.

By slamming the lack of basic fairness, of due process--a Constitutional standard--McConnell is, I believe, drawing a clear line. He is warning that the Senate will not be a party to a proceeding that makes a mockery of the Constitution. No doubt he and others in the Senate are working out strategy, now that their position has been decided upon. Of course he will be working within Senate rules and will need to tailor his strategy to that framework.

Another thing to keep in mind is the state of polling. There's a new poll out should give nervous Dems even more pause to reconsider Impeachment--and even the ongoing Impeachment Theater. The news for Dems gets worse the deeper you dig, but even allowing for the widespread misunderstanding of the issues the results of the poor are very bad for the Dems. When you consider that bringing all this to a vote could lead to more awareness of what's behind it all, the news should be quite disturbing:

Impeachment Poll to Democrats: Put Up or Shut Up

Addendum: Here's a good article today that addresses a major Constitutional issue surrounding Impeachment Theater: A factually Weak Impeachment Will Alter The Nature Of Our Government. It's not revelatory, but it's very well thought out.


  1. I'm reading the poll article that you linked to from Free Republic. Putting things together that I've read and my own thoughts.

    28 Dem seats are reportedly looking good for the Rep house efforts. This poll shows vulnerability for Dems. The continued secrecy of hearings, control of information, selected leaking by Schiff. The delay in voting on impeachment. Labelling this whole affair as an inquiry vs. an actual impeachment.

    Taken together, the Dems aren't in a position of strength. They are doing their best to play a weak hand. But they are holding only a pair of deuces and the President has a full house or maybe a royal straight.

    And I'm not even a poker player.

    1. It occurs to me that they're hoping to do this vote on Thursday because the OIG FISA report may be out Friday. These attempts to steal the thunder from the coming revelations I don't believe will have much effect for the long term, and the drumbeat of revelations will continue.

  2. I agree. They're trying to manage and get in front of the news. We've seen this for over two years. Deny something and then the friendly NYT or WaPO confirms what was denied, at a later date. Or leak ahead of time a softened version of the truth.

    I try not to send you a lot of links because you have so many people sending you stuff. So I'll just let you know that I read reports about Brennan really starting to sweat. We kind of covered this earlier but it's so enjoyable for me. He's probably a proud man so I enjoy it even more.

    So many articles point to him as the center of everything. Someone I read said Clapper is too dumb to have done this and that Brennan is the brains. Comey's not out of the woods, either, because of Brennan's role. I think it was Dan Bongino.

    I know that you're overwhelmed so I won't

    1. I don't think they'll be able to come up with enough fake news to keep the pretense going. I think Barr/Durham will overwhelm them sometime in 2020.

  3. I think your last link (A factually weak ... ) is bad.

    1. Thanks, Mike. The address looked a bit strange to me. I'll check it out.

  4. The Dems claim the current secret process is akin to a grand jury. If they never allow Trump’s lawyers to participate, I can see McConnell proceeding with the equivalent of a pre-trial dismissal. Have a panel of judges take questions in public and state the House approach was without any due process. Even Trump is not below the law. Even Tribe from Harvard would have to concede there was no due process!

    1. Yes, I agree. I would add ...

      1. Akin to a grand jury isn't the same as identical. A GJ must be called into existence. In this case, the House already exists as a legislative body, but to act as a GJ it must take a vote to constitute itself in that role.

      2. Even assuming that the House acts in a way that's similar to a GJ, jurors are equal as jurors--they have the same rights to ask questions. Also, while it's unusual, a GJ can direct investigations.

      3. The two party system didn't exist nor was it even envisioned when the Constitution was written. Therefore, precedent of all past impeachment proceedings should be followed absent special circumstances that don't exist here. The pretense that there is need to protect a whistleblower is only a pretense. Congress is not empowered to make that determination--DoJ does.

      There are other similar considerations to draw the distinction between the House and a GJ.