I've been calling what's going on in the House "Impeachment Theater," indicating my belief that isn't serious as a buildup to an actual impeachment vote. Of course I offer that as my opinion, since I have no inside information, but so far I've seen nothing that would lead me to reconsider that view.
That doesn't mean I wasn't completely ticked off at Republicans for voting en masse against Trump on Syria--that was stupid and wrong. It was stupid on the issue for any number of reasons. One is the idea that the Kurds are our "allies". That's just silly. Another is that Trump's move makes Russia the leader of the Middle East--maybe, if herding cats is your idea of leadership. A final reason is enunciated in today's WSJ by neocon Ray Takeyh--As America Leaves Syria, Iran Isn’t as Happy as You Think: Tehran finds itself at cross-purposes with Damascus and Ankara as Baghdad slips away. Yes, Teheran at cross purposes with Damascus and Ankara--not to mention Moscow. As Takeyh goes on to explain, US involvement was actually working for Iran, and Trump's move leaves them scrambling to realign.
To put this in the simplest of terms, the three major players not name Israel are Russia, Iran, and Turkey. Anyone who thinks any of those three countries will cooperate with another of those three on anything other than a very temporary basis has not been paying attention to history. Any scenario in which one of those three countries gains what looks like a permanent regional advantage will be unacceptable to the other two. And that's just for starters. Sooner or later, and probably sooner, critics of Trump's step back will realize that a step back was desperately needed--to gain strategic perspective and determine our true interests in this morass, as well as the type and degree of involvement that will best further those interests. The last thing our country needs is generals or neocon amateurs conducting foreign policy.
Yesterday I expressed the view that Impeachment Theater--including statements by Mitch McConnell and Lindsey Graham--may be part of an ongoing struggle to defend institutional interests. The GOPe, having been complicit to varying degrees in the Russia Hoax, may now see the Barr/Durham investigation potentially providing Trump a decisive advantage. Impeachment, in that context could become a bargaining chip, not just for Democrats but also for the GOPe. They understand Barr's determination to defend the Executive Branch against Congressional encroachments and may use Impeachment Theater as a means for reaching some accommodation. Hopefully I'll be able to offer a few more thoughts on this later today.
Every day, first thing in the morning, Don Surber publishes Highlights of the News. Today, way down the list, he offers a quote from Rush Limbaugh, which fits in with the considerations I've outlined above:
ITEM 12: Rush Limbaugh said, "I’m getting some emails. 'Rush, you don’t seem to be taking impeachment seriously enough. I think you’re wrong. I think the House is gonna impeach Trump. They’re gonna do it. I think there’s gonna be a trial. I’m really worried. Why aren’t you?'
"I’ll go through it again, but let me give you a very simple reason why I think they aren’t going to actually have an official vote and transfer all this to a trial in the Senate.
"That’s why they’re not gonna do it. They’re not gonna turn this over to the Senate — and not even because the Senate would acquit. They’re not gonna give the politics of this away. They want to be able to talk about impeachment, and Pelosi and Schiff and the Democrats want to be seen as the people running it, in charge of it — the politics of it.
"The minute they have a vote and hand this over to the Senate, the Senate is in control of impeachment, not the House. The Senate is run by Republicans. They’re not gonna do that. It’s real simple. They are not going to let go of their control of all the narratives attached to impeachment, and that would happen if they go to the Senate with it."
Limbaugh gets what is going on. He knows American politics better than anyone not named Donald Trump. They ain't worried. I ain't worried. Remember, in DC, where there's smoke, there's a smoke machine.
Naturally, Rush and Surber aren't infallible, but theirs are opinions one would be a fool to ignore or even take lightly.
UPDATE 1: For anyone disposed to argue about Trump's Middle East step back, consider this:
A Drug Cartel Just Defeated The Mexican Military In Battle
Mexico is in a state of collapse, and Americans need to realize that the crisis underway south of the Rio Grande won’t stop at the border.
Consider these paragraphs, but read it all:
In other words, it’s fair to say that Mexico is now on a trajectory to become a vast gangland governed more by warlordism than by the state. The last time this happened was a century ago, during the decade-long Mexican Revolution, which eventually triggered the invasion and occupation of northern Mexico in 1916 by the U.S. Army, including the mobilization of the entire National Guard and a call for volunteers. Before it was over, U.S. forces attacked and occupied Nogales, Sonora, in 1918 and Ciudad Juarez in 1919.
The idea that a nation of 120 million people with whom the United States shares a 2,000-mile border and ever-increasing economic ties might spiral into collapse has not seriously occurred to the American people. We’ve had a century of relative peace on our southwest border, and aside from dealing with an occasional surge of illegal immigration, we have assumed that it will continue. It will not.
Culiacan should be a wake-up call that the war now underway in Mexico will not stay there, and that we’d better start thinking about what that will mean for America.
Does this guarantee Trump's reelection? It should, and not only should it allow him to manhandle the open border Dems--it should also give him the whip hand over the recalcitrant GOPe.
Put that in your impeachment pipe and smoke it!
UPDATE 2: Mickey Kaus points out the absurdity of the Impeachment Theater:
"The revenge of the State Department" https://t.co/wsFrY2waEr Unelected bureaucrats demand the right to control US foreign policy no matter who is elected president. This is now an explicit theme of impeachment.— Mickey Kaus (@kausmickey) October 21, 2019
From NBC News (sp) concerning the Barr/Durham investigation of Seditiongate:ReplyDelete
“It’s unusual to the point that it looks to be political and it’s a bad thing for DOJ to appear to be doing something for political reasons,” Greg Brower, former assistant FBI director for congressional affairs and a former U.S. Attorney, said.
Duh! "...to support and defend the Constitution of the United States..." is explicitly "political". Does anyone actually read their oath of office?
Tom, this perfectly illustrates the point I've made repeatedly about how the FBI was taken over by the legal establishment, which is overwhelmingly left liberal. One can only imagine what 8 years of Obama following on 8 feckless years of Dubya and Mueller did to the FBI, especially at the FBIHQ and other top levels. Brower was never an agent--simply another lawyer parachuted in from outside. It's all about the career.Delete
Calling the Barr-Durham investigation political, the latest progressive talking point, gives them cover, as planned.Delete
Big problem, as I see it, is that even if Barr-Durham ever publishes anything--and I am starting to despair on this front; there's now a tiff over the issue of 'classified' material? after all this time?--the media will either completely ignore it, their m.o. these past three years, or give it the 'political' spin, as necessary.
Would this work? It's worked for three years! The average American hasn't a clue, Mark, as to the level of analysis you've been rigorously providing on this site. I could scream when I talk to people. In fact, I don't anymore.
Really alarming to me, going on in the background, are the shenanigans of Trump-hating weasels like Romney, Collins, Sasse, etc. They would vote to impeach.
Over at Legal Insurrection is a post that puts forth the idea that maybe enough GOPe senators would actually vote to impeach.
I think they're tempted. Trump is despised at levels we've yet to plumb.
Those idiot congressmen voting on Syria, well, they have their counterparts in the senate (I've yet to decide whether Lindsay Graham is a complete or only occasional idiot).
I'm starting to feel that unless Barr-Durham unleashes missiles that kill these cockroaches dead, we're in for more of the same.
Which means that the only thing that can save the Republic--and I believe America is doomed to deep state thralldom if DJT doesn't get reelected--is a Trump landslide.
I have hope that this may happen. The man in the street might not know all the details, but if he's even remotely like those of us who visit your site (religiously), he's had it.
Those commuters pulling that clown off the train in London and that fellow in San Francisco ripping away that imbecile environmentalist's sign made my day. Points of light.
20 GOPe senators voting for political suicide? I don't buy it. I think that was clickbait at LI.Delete
Agree. The cowards will blink when they see the Trump Majority coming for them, figuratively or literally, depending on how far they push it.Delete
I've thought in my mind for a long time that America is a potential powder keg. Way before Obama. Not that I was predicting it. But let the wrong type of violence, gun confiscation, etc., happen and a spark to cause conservatives to come pouring out in the street.
Again, I'm not saying it will happen. But think of Yeltsin standing on cars to save Gorbachev.
I think that enough Americans are ready, if we are pushed hard enough. It would be spontaneous and spread like wildfire.
In the moment, impeachment theater is simply a weak attempt to coerce Trump into reigning in the Barr/Durham investigations and IG reports. Failing that, they still hold out some hope of actually removing Trump from office via enacting articles of impeachment and conviction in the Senate. Everyone likes to think that that is ridiculously unlikely, but the Deep State is not cowed by this sentiment. They are actively attempting blackmail of nearly a dozen GOP senators and already have the votes of several RINOs in the caucus. If the head count gets close to 67, Katy bar the door and they will implement several planned false-flag OPs aimed at rallying public opinion to their side. Will it work? Maybe. Stranger things have happened. They are deadly serious and not to be underestimated.ReplyDelete
As I indicated, I'm not dogmatic about this, just saying what seems probable to me. I think Trump would need to fire Barr to rein him in--Barr is doing what he's doing for the country, not for Trump as a person. And I find that prospect unlikely in the extreme. I don't see Trump surrendering--especially when victory is near.Delete
I slightly disagree. I think that Barr is doing it for the country and for Trump, the man. Because Trump, the man, has done nothing wrong.Delete
One guy who appears to be getting ready for an impeachment trial is Mitt Romney.
As far as I'm concerned Romney is a fool. But the article is of some interest because it explains how he justifies himself.
Interestingly, to me, Romney seems unaware of, or not interested in, the massive corruption of the other party. The likely crimes of the Obama Administration, and their likely impact on this country, are unmentioned.
The leader of his party has been in a fight for survival against dark forces trying to destroy him but Romney seems not to care.
Nor does Romney seem to have any interest in supporting Trump's signature policies: immigration and border control, trade policy, rebuilding our manufacturing base, Middle East regime change, energy independence, regulatory reform.
Not to mention Romney's total disinterest in anything remotely resembling loyalty.
aka Pierre Delecto. I think that was political suicide.Delete
I had always wondered why Romney brutalized Republicans in 2012 only to act like a kitten to Obama. Rush said that it was fear of being called a racist.Delete
Not I wonder if he's being blackmailed. They must have the goods on him. I used too admire him personally. Now I think that he's a snake and he got caught somehow. Another woman, a bribe, who knows?
One more thing. I think Romney was a lure, too. Just like Mueller. He wanted to be SoS and undermine Donald and collect, or manufacuture, evidence.Delete
Here's another on the Mexican situation, a guest post on Claire Berlinski's site:ReplyDelete
"From Culiacán, Sinaloa, to Nogales, Arizona, is one day’s drive.
"Mexico is not an enemy state, and the Mexicans are not an enemy people. Yet as Mexico falls apart, we need to ask ourselves questions normally reserved for objectively hostile nations. There is a war underway. It won’t stop at the border.
"It’s time to look south, and think."
I think Mark said it best the other day when he said it really comes down to 1) what Barr/Durham/Horowitz come up with (which really is a much bigger game than Schiff's make-believe ... whatever it is), and 2) how We The People respond to all this crap going on. I for one am convinced that Barr and Durham have a LOT to work with and that it should be more than enough to smother in the cradle whatever form of grotesque impeachment baby the House decides to bring into this world.ReplyDelete
I guess we'll start to see now sooner rather than later...
I like how you put that.Delete
I read that Durham and Barr are looking hard at the Senate Intelligence Committee.Delete
"Unelected bureaucrats demand the right to control US foreign policy no matter who is elected president."ReplyDelete
I was listening to NPR the other day (had to; only station with reception) and one of the commentators, in all seriousness, criticized Trump for violating 'official U.S. foreign policy'...
...with no sense of irony...
Amazing, but not unexpected. Recall that was the claim when Trump was president elect, re contacting Russians, etc.Delete
Think what these incredibly irresponsible narratives do to our constitutional order, then consider the insanity of open borders, and think about all of that in light of the events in Mexico, and this:
and wonder what path we're going down.
The threat is not that either Trump or Barr will cave in to the impeachment threat. The threat is that the longer this gambit persists, the more likely it becomes to evolve into seriously harmful acts by a desperately fearful Deep State. You need look no further than the "suicide" of Epstein, or the duplicity of the House Republican's Syria vote, or the treachery Senator Mitt Romney to see how determined they are.ReplyDelete
Indeed, Unknown, it's easy to imagine Maddow etc. agitating for Antifa etc. to blockade the doors, of e.g. courthouses where D.S. conspirators are being tried, or of polling places in pro-Trump precincts in swing states in Nov. 2020.ReplyDelete
Or, False Flag ops bringing mass casualties, which can be spun as having been the work of Trump or allies (e.g. "white supremacists").
Re: courthouse doors, maybe Barr will time the trials' start to be in the dead of winter, whereby would-be rioters will prefer to hunker-down indoors!ReplyDelete