Thursday, October 24, 2019

UPDATED: Mr. Trump Goes To War

Last night CTH ran with two Trump tweets that are clear signs that Trump is enraged at the attempts of Neocon backed GOPe senators (think: McConnell, Graham, Lee, Thune, Delecto, among others) to sabotage his program and to try to use Impeachment Theater to strongarm Trump into backing down. For reasons I've already gone over in recent days, I believe this is essentially a bluff. Last nights tweets, among other indicators, appear to signal that Trump believes so, too, and is prepared to call that bluff and go to war:

The WSJ this morning headlined a further indicator:

Trump Lifts Curbs on Turkey
President says Russia-brokered cease-fire in Syria will hold, defying bipartisan criticism.

As policy statements go, that's pretty in your face: Take your Senate resolutions and House resolutions and shove 'em!

Trump appears to understand full well that both the GOPe and the Dems are between a rock and a hard place. Impeachment Theater has not got either party where they wanted to be. Daniel Henninger covers this from the Dem perspective:

Anyone of any political stripe knows that the most psychologically distressed Democrats  have wanted to impeach this guy, somehow just get rid of him, from day one.

Ditto the GOPe.

Within a day of the Mueller report's release, dismissing the Russian-collusion story lines, the opposition pivoted to the obstruction--of-justice narrative. 

But it looks like they've pivoted in a full 360, as witness Pelosi's "all roads lead to Putin" meme. That's a strong indication that the weak Russia Hoax card is still the highest card in their hand.

Somehow, the pivoters must have assumed that the American people, after enduring the Mueller odyssey, would not notice that this extraordinarily dispruptive investigation had come to nothing. And that people would saddle up to join the next get-Trump posse. That didn't work.
Nothing in the Constitution says elected officials are obliged to do anything productive. But translating the public's votes into a permanent presidential takedown had better work, because if they don't pull off impeachment and drive Donald Trump out of public life next year, the losses for the Democrats and the media will be devastating.

Who thinks Donald Trump had to wait for the NeverTrump Henninger to write this article to understand all that?

Maybe it really will be the third time's the charm for the Trump-elimination forces, but the impeachment project looks like it's starting to go wobbly.

It sure is. When you have to proceed in secret and utilize lies and what amount to forgeries, I'd say that's pretty wobbly.

But the most telling impeachment development this week wasn't any paraphrased testimony from Mr. Schiff's private hearings. It was the news that Speaker Pelosi's impeachment timetable had been delayed.

And really delayed pretty much indefinitely. There's no solidly projected date. When you start adding in the practical difficulties that Henninger goes on to detail it's easy to see why the cold feet. Those practicalities have to do with campaigning--the presidential primaries begin early in the new year, and impeachment would sideline leading candidates in the all important early going, including Warren.

Slightly different considerations go for the GOPe. Trump has undoubtedly done his political calculations. He understands the polls as well as or better than anyone in politics. He knows--not just thinks, but knows--that the American people are behind him on the issues: Endless war, trade, jobs, immigration. Not just traditional GOP constituencies, but increasingly Dems, too. Trump also knows that impeachment is a total bluff on the part of the GOPe--Trump is the candidate. To remove him, or even pretend that removal is being seriously considered, would be suicidal. To conflate two observations from yesterday:

How long can the DC political Establishment--Dem and GOP alike--continue to buck the growing popular consensus? How long can they kowtow to the Deep State status quo, without risking serious backlash?
In 2016 Trump ran a remarkably issue oriented campaign. He can do it again and run against a do-nothing Congress that has tried to impeach the Nation. The GOPe flirts with trying to use impeachment as leverage against Trump on policy issues at grave risk to itself.

Trump is committed, and he's ready to go to war. Lindsey Graham is feeling the wrath. The rest of the GOPe will need to reconsider their treason. We will undoubtedly be learning much, much more about the Russia Hoax from Barr/Durham. Who thought that that threat was a threat against not only the Dems but the GOPe as well? When the American people get a glimpse of the enormity of what's been going on, heaven help anyone who's caught out trying to sabotage Trump.


Steve Forbes: “Impeachment is not gonna happen. They are doing it for political purposes… The thing to watch for is what our Attorney General in the US is doing, Attorney General Barr is going to be releasing in the next few weeks in terms of his investigations on what was happening with the CIA, the FBI, and certain White House officials leading up to the 2016 election and afterwards… A lot of bad things were done. That’s going to dominate the news. It is a big scandal coming. And it’s going to take all this other stuff off the pages.”


  1. In order to "drive Donald Trump out of public life", conviction by 67 or so votes may be nowhere near enough, if his backers smell this vote to have stemmed from D.S. blackmail.
    If they get these votes, how hard would it be for Melania to get on the ballot, if not for the primaries, them for the general?
    (Everyone would know that she would have him be the actual POTUS.)

    1. I don't know of any reason why an impeached and removed president couldn't run again. And his fund raising has broken all records.

    2. aNM: Melania is not a natural born citizen, thus ineligible.

    3. I was wondering the same thing yesterday. Apparently the Founders thought of that question, too.

      The last sentence of Art. I, Section 3 provides:

      Judgment in Cases of Impeachment shall not extend further than to removal from Office, and disqualification to hold and enjoy any Office of honor, Trust or Profit under the United States: but the Party convicted shall nevertheless be liable and subject to Indictment, Trial, Judgment and Punishment, according to Law.

      Apparently what this means is that the Senate has the power to 'remove' and 'disqualify'. And they would have to exercise the latter power to prevent Trump from running again.

      Here's a pretty good 'internet' explanation:

    4. If not Melania, well, then: Ivanka.

      Trump's wet dream come true! :)

    5. Wow--now I know! Thanks very much. Very interesting. So they could, if they pursue disqualification specifically, politically excommunicate Trump and the 63 million deplorables who voted for him. And lose 63 million potential votes, divided among 50 states. That would be a genius move.

    6. Right. We need to deal with reality and not how many angels can dance on the head of a pin.

      Donald Trump can only be impeached if a critical number of voters support it. There is no way that 66 senators would have the courage to oppose the voters.

      Yes, it's theoretically possible. But it isn't politically possible. We would have a civil war.

  2. Seems like its all coming together...

    And then there's Horowitz and then there's Barr/Durham...

    So who are the Senate GOPers? Shouldn't we add Burr(NC) to the list? Looks like he was up to his eyeballs in the Warner/FISA leak...How about Cornyn? Don't know...just asking...wondering how many of them there are...

    Still can't get over Delecto...I met him a while back...before his Senate election...shook hands...looked him in the eye...asked a couple questions...couldn't get a straight answer...went home and said to my wife..."I sure don't like that guy".

    Brief digression on the Russia Hoax...I don't know if you've been following Bongino on Mifsud. His theory is that Mifsud was a covert CIA plant...and that Brennan didn't come clean with Comey about him until after the FBI interviewed PapaD. So what we've got is the beginnings of a soon-to-be-better-understood split between Comey and Brennan on the origins of the hoax. Perhaps this is not news to you, Mark, but its worth noting because if Brennan and Comey part ways there will be some 'interesting' developments...

    1. Absolutely--Burr, too.

      No, I haven't been following Bongino. If you have a link for that interesting theory I'd like to hear it. The reason I'd be a priori a bit skeptical is because the FBI was very well acquainted with Mifsud. I'd always assumed that it was a joint endeavor with CIA/FBI. However, there is the story that Strzok opened CH based on Brennan's info, so that might be behind Bongino's idea.


      Bongino's speculation was around 48:39 yesterday.

      Here's the gist of it. Bongino references a March 2019 article in the Washington Examiner where PapaD is reported to claim that the FBI wanted him to wear a wire to a meeting with Mifsud in January 2017. Bongino wonders why the FBI would want PapaD to wear a wire to a meeting with their own guy...Mifsud could wear the wire, right? Bongino speculates that the FBI and the CIA were not on the same page...and that Mifsud was the CIA's guy.

      I'm not vouching for Bongino...just calling out what he's saying...

      Here's a link to the Examiner article:

    3. Tx. Bongino makes sense, in my experience, and we none of us know the full story at this point. Informed speculation is good.

    4. I meant to link to the Bongino tape above.

      Here it is:

    5. As you know, Mark, I've been skeptical about PapaD from the get-go. I did, however, read his book and, on balance, I am today willing to accept that he was probably an innocent dupe (if not dope...well, maybe that too). However, many aspects of his persona are still questionable to me so I'll be awaiting further disclosures...

    6. What is funny, the NY Bar is demanding that Barr recuse himself over the Ukraine hoax.

      Rob S

    7. PapaD was smart enough not to bring that $10K back to the US.

      Rob S

    8. Yes, I had a good laugh over that. And yes again, PapaD musta smelled a setup.

    9. I can't say if Dan Bongino is right or wrong on any particular issue but I accord him the say respect that I accord to Mr. Wauck.

      Someone honorable, passionate, and well-reaonsed.

    10. I'm listening to him right now, enjoying it.

    11. I think PapaD (had no idea who that was) was a young eager beaver, apparently knowledgeable in energy, who break Russia’s hold on energy supply to Europe by working out bringing it from Israel instead. This might have caught DJT’s eye - or Jared Kushner’s? - and so he was briefly a member of the campaign staff. Still in his 20s, he had to find this and all the other attention pretty heady stuff. And then somehow his antenna went up and he realized something wasn’t right. We pretty much know the rest.

      Not exactly a dupe, but an ambitious young guy who found himself the object of a great deal attention that at some point did not feel right….

      Leaving that $10K behind was smart.

  3. -->the presidential primaries begin early in the new year, and impeachment would sideline leading candidates in the all important early going, including Warren.<--

    Except Biden. And Sanders might not care as he doesn't face re-election until 2024.

    So the timeline, as it affects senators, puts them in a position to declare on their occupation or their ambition.

    This works in favor of the impeachment theatre concept (impeachment as talking points, not an actual vote to do so), as Dems use it for The Narrative. The Narrative is all they have going for them. It doesn't matter that it didn't work in 2016 (they didn't learn that lesson), they just have to double-down on it, then all those deplorables will finally "get it" and vote the correct way...

    1. I believe the senators are required to be present, and might face sanctions if they weren't. Such a move by Dem senators would undoubtedly backfire totally.

  4. "When the American people get a glimpse of the enormity of what's been going on, heaven help anyone who's caught out trying to sabotage Trump."

    Great point wrt GOPe and even Dems in competitive districts. Probably this exact calculation is being made by Pelosi's darling Freshmen, which in turn explains a good chunk of why she’s pushing back indefinitely any sort of actual vote.

    You probably noticed in Holman Jenkins' column that he too is coming around to your way of thinking:

    "At some point, reality has to be acknowledged. Mr. Trump was innocent, the evidence was fabricated by his opponents, and the press and intelligence agencies in some sense allowed themselves to be party to this.

    "Democrats may be oblivious but much of the country noticed the self-jujitsu by which Mr. Trump’s enemies have turned Mr. Trump’s vices into their own, with their sleazy and self-defeating approach to opposing him."

    Can't wait for those reports.

    1. Yep. I decided not to use it because of his usual gratuitous swipe at Trump. Don't you luv that "in some sense" quip? I mean, he's joking, right? In some strangely indefinable sense?

    2. The Holman Jenkinses are those who see the writing on the wall, so grudgingly, dragging one foot, tossing in the gratuitous swipe to please their base, move slowly, so slowly, toward maybe going a little tiny bit toward Trump. It must take them hours to wordsmith those pieces. I am wearied by some of VDH’s pieces. The reader always has to go through a cleansing sentence or two on Trump’s incivility or some such trivia before getting to the substance of what he has written. Jenkins isn’t worth the price of a look.

    3. I cancelled my WSJ subscription but apparently I must've paid in advance at some point because, while I get no online access, by print copy is still coming.

    4. Jenkins' admission against interest was pretty strong, given its author, so I thought it notable. But yeah, the "in some sense" line (among others) was really, really bad. I mean ... what?

    5. I have to disagree with Bebe. VDH has been a solid supporter of the President.

    6. Joe, you misunderstood the context. Yes, VDH has supported President Trump, but he always includes qualifying remarks in which he takes issue with the President’s demeanor, civility, etc. Can’t quite bring himself to leave those out.

      I am a longtime fan of VDH’s who wishes he’d leave those digs out of his essays. They are on such minor things. Included to please the Other Side? I wish he’d skip them.

    7. FWIW, I think Victor Davis Hanson is 100% supportive of Trump and, in particular, the Trump program. After all, Davis did write The Case for Trump, which is a very good read.

  5. I fear that Trump needs more leverage vs. the D.S., if sundance is right, that release Horowitz's report is delayed yet again, until c. Thanksgiving, see .

    Seeing as Bartiromo told us weeks ago, that the report figured to appear late last week, for the D.S. to be able to pull off this new delay looks like an awesome display of their power.

    1. I suspect this has more to do with cooperation with Barr/Durham re internal DoJ/FBI investigations.

  6. Hoping you're right, but the news tonite, that Durham is finally officially opening a criminal probe, smells like a sop to the authentic right, seeing as such a probe ought to have started many months ago.
    If no major good news emerges next week, I'll quite fear that the D.S. has managed to put the fix in.