The Hardening Lines

Dr. Malcolm Cross

The vote of the House of Representatives to establish formal rules for the investigation of President Trump to determine if he should be impeached reveals the hardening of party lines on this issue, the respective strengths and weaknesses of both the House Democrats and the House Republicans, and the probable outcome of both the House vote to impeach the President, and the Senate vote to acquit him and retain him in office.

The vote broke along party lines.  Of the 233 Democrats present and voting, all but 2 voted to proceed with the impeachment proceedings.  The 194 Republicans present and voting unanimously opposed further investigations.  One Republican-turned-Independent sided with the Democrats.

The final vote contrasted sharply with previous votes to adopt rules for the impeachment of both Richard Nixon and Bill Clinton.  In the Nixon case, the vote to formally investigate him was 410 to 4:  Almost all Republicans joined with the Democrats to launch formal proceedings, making the decision to launch the investigation truly bipartisan.  In the Clinton case, 31 Democrats joined Republicans to launch proceedings, allowing Republicans to claim some degree of bipartisan support for investigating Clinton, if not actually impeaching him.

But in this instance, neither side can claim any significant degree of bipartisan support for its respective position.  Republicans should feel especially disappointed.  It had been widely believed that Speaker Pelosi was not permitting a formal vote on impeachment procedures for fear that the 30 or so Democrats elected in 2018 from congressional districts carried by President Trump in 2016 would join with House Republicans to reject the formal procedures for fear of antagonizing their constituents and dooming their re-election chances in 2020.  Yet Speaker Pelosi evidently calculated, correctly, that the red district Democrats were now ready to support their blue district counterparts.  Republican chances to obtain Democratic help in defeating the impeachment process must be rated nearly dead.

But by the same token, it’s obvious that the Democrats can obtain little help from Republican lawmakers in either the House or the Senate.  While Republicans have complained about the secrecy with which the Democrats have been conducting their investigations to date, and by the lack of Republican subpoena power to call witnesses, the fact remains that Republicans have been serving on the investigatory committees, know what evidence the Democrats have collected, and remain unconvinced that impeachment is proper.  The continuing Republican refusal to support the Democrats in any way will lead to a final impeachment vote which the Democrats will win, but only because the Democrats constitute a majority in the House.  A strict party-line vote will make the impeachment effort seem merely like a case of partisan vindictiveness to punish President Trump for his electoral vote triumph in 2016 and weaken him in 2020.  

And if President Trump is impeached by the House in a strict party line vote, so too will he be acquitted by the Senate.  There seems to be a growing willingness among Senate Republicans to acknowledge that President Trump, in his dealings with Ukrainian President Zelensky, acted improperly, but that his misconduct does not rise to the level of an impeachable offense.  In this sense, today’s Republicans are echoing what Senate Democrats said about President Clinton:  What he did was wrong, but not impeachable.  Whatever one thinks of Republican logic on this issue, following it will rationalize their vote to acquit a President who remains quite popular with the Republican rank and file (88% approval rating) and thereby avoid the wrath of the President and his supporters.

In sum, since the election of 2018, it’s been widely predicted that the President will be impeached by the House and acquitted by the Senate.  Last week’s developments support and reinforce these predictions.


Malcolm L. Cross has lived in Stephenville and taught politics and government at Tarleton since 1987. His political and civic activities include service on the Stephenville City Council (2000-2014) and on the Erath County Republican Executive Committee (1990 to the present).  He was Mayor Pro Tem of Stephenville from 2008 to 2014.  He is a member of St. Luke’s Episcopal Church and the Stephenville Rotary Club, and does volunteer work for the Boy Scouts of America. Views expressed in this column are his and do not reflect those of The Flash as a whole.

39 Comments

  1. Trump’s people can’t turn away from the supply-side tap, the gush of money to the wealthy is intoxicating. They’re going to defend trump for as long as possible.

    • Amen Dan Young…and the suffering continue. I thought after Bush’s Republican’s robbed the treasury in 2007-08 people could see through it. Evil men are winning.

      • Dave… from January 17, 2018 oh ad the sad part about Mueller’s report that the only intelligence he used was America’s and there were 4 other nations he didn’t use.. about 22 minutes..lots and lots of details here..

      • Jesus had 3 commandments and he said the second of those would be the hardest to follow. His 2nd commandment was “to love thy fellow man or neighbor”.

      • to bad that the “politicians” cannot do the needed jobs that they were elected for… instead they are wasting time and much money doing the very thing they vowed to do once they lost the election. The country needs to be run by non-politicians, not biased puppets. We should have known that draining the swamp would not be easy.

        • I hear you mention drain the swamp. This might interest you. That Ronna women is former Presidential candidate Senator Mitt Romney and that Swamp..Trumps Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross was the largest shareholder-owner of the Crete Bank responsible for laundering money for Russians and lots of that money bought Trump’s golf courses and properties including Actor Will Smith’s Hawaii Vacation home.. That Transportation Secretary is Moscow Mitch McConnell;s wife. Her dad’s from China and he has had boats busted for drug hauling including cocaine.. Trump is doing the Republican’s plan my big brother told me about 5 years ago and that they the Republicans want to cut the lobbyist out Well meet some of your knew alligators and as you drive around Erath County notice not the new cars but the cars that the driver knows the inspection sticker is past due, the taillights out etc. Largely its injustice among men… be careful scolding them because their Father might be a Veteran, even a Purple Heart receiver… 400% interest – think about it and look Meet Just a Few of Trump’s PORTABLE SWAMP AND ALLIGATORS HE IS FEEDING I’M NOT A DEMOCRAT OR A REPUBLICAN FRIEND I AM AN AMERICAN
          https://www.commondreams.org/news/2019/10/29/leaked-audio-payday-loan-executive-bragging-about-white-house-access-reveals-quid?cd-origin=rss&utm_term=AO&utm_campaign=Daily%20Newsletter&utm_content=email&utm_source=Daily%20Newsletter&utm_medium=email

        • Big Dave… from January 17, 2018 oh ad the sad part about Mueller’s report that the only intelligence he used was America’s and there were 4 other nations he didn’t use.. about 22 minutes..lots and lots of details here..

        • Whoa! Who would of thunk it! Mr. Putin a fine and wonderful man I have been told by our Commander in Chief suddenly is somehow appearing closer involved with the Ukrainian matter where Mr Trump our leader that made a perfect call to Mr Zelensky. Why would Mr Putin care. He is the worlds wealthiest man by strictly storm arming people. Why should Mr. Putin care about Ukraine..Do they offer a Master’s Degree in Strong Arming at John Tarleton’s schools..first I guess I must research more which pays nothing but maybe its the way my parents taught me protecting my neighbors rights is my duty.

    • Here is what Republicans do…A lady from Kansas told me I should read this Dan. The democrats lost so many white people after the civil rights act and LBJ gave the Black vote to the Americans that had be denied their votes. To me it just seems un-Christian to discriminate Dan.

      https://www.dailykos.com/stories/2019/11/9/1898244/-Houston-Elects-19-Black-Women-Judges-so-Texas-Gov-and-Legislature-Move-to-End-Judicial-Elections?utm_campaign=trending

    • Whoa! Who would of thunk it! Mr. Putin a fine and wonderful man I have been told by our Commander in Chief suddenly is somehow appearing closer involved with the Ukrainian matter where Mr Trump our leader that made a perfect call to Mr Zelensky. Why would Mr Putin care. He is the worlds wealthiest man by strictly storm arming people. Why should Mr. Putin care about Ukraine..Do they offer a Master’s Degree in Strong Arming at John Tarleton’s schools..first I guess I must research more which pays nothing but maybe its the way my parents taught me protecting my neighbors rights is my duty.

    • Republic virtues? Okay hopefully the Republicans get them back Dan but actually the Republicans are working up a war that they made it appears.. Remember the 9 massacred in Mexico recently..Let me investigate ..
      1st a little history

  2. To me Dr Cross the vote is American votes for Impeachment and not American votes against Impeachment and that’s for the House and Senate along with well over half the veterans in today’s classes.

    https://www.miamiherald.com/news/politics-government/article236981487.html?utm_source=pushly&intcid=pushly_457704

    Florida’s governor met indicted businessman at a Zionist Organization of America event
    BY DAVID SMILEY, STEVE CONTORNO, AND BIANCA PADRÓ OCASIO
    NOVEMBER 04, 2019 12:09 PM, UPDATED 1 HOUR 7 MINUTES AGO

    Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis likely met a Ukrainian-American businessman now indicted on campaign finance charges and subpoenaed in an ongoing impeachment inquiry at a pro-Israel event in May 2018, his aides believe.

    DeSantis, at the time a congressman, first came into contact with Lev Parnas after speaking at a gathering of the Zionist Organization of America on May 9, 2018, according to a spokeswoman for the governor. The spokeswoman was unsure of the exact nature of the event, but DeSantis spoke at the organization’s annual Washington Mission that same day in the Hart Senate Office Building on Capitol Hill.

    It’s unclear how DeSantis and Parnas — who would go on to co-host fundraisers for DeSantis and appear at his inauguration with “very very important person” status — were introduced.

    “We think they met after then-Congressman DeSantis spoke at a Zion Organization of America event in May of 2018,” DeSantis spokeswoman Helen Ferré explained in an email. “Any interactions between the campaign and Lev Parnas were toward building support for the campaign.”

    At the time he met DeSantis, Parnas was a relatively little-known businessman from Boca Raton working his way into Republican circles. Now he is a figure of international relevance after he and another South Florida associate, Igor Fruman, were subpoenaed by Congress for records related to their work on behalf of President Donald Trump’s personal lawyer in pushing the Ukrainian government to investigate former Vice President Joe Biden.

    Parnas, Fruman and two other business associates — David Correia and Andrey Kukushkin — have also been accused by federal prosecutors in New York of scheming to steer more than $1 million in foreign money into U.S. elections. All four have pleaded not guilty.

    The information on how DeSantis met Parnas and possibly Fruman — Ferré was unsure if both were at the event — helps shed light on how the two men became somewhat regular figures around DeSantis’ gubernatorial campaign.

    Parnas co-hosted fundraisers for DeSantis’ gubernatorial campaign and attended campaign functions alongside Trump’s attorney, Rudy Giuliani, in the final days before DeSantis won the race for Florida governor. Parnas and Fruman also contributed $50,000 to DeSantis’ political committee in June of 2018 through a Delaware corporation identified by prosecutors in New York as a shell company used to make illegal campaign contributions.

    After DeSantis won the race for governor, Parnas and Fruman attended an inaugural event at the Fontainebleau in Miami Beach and his inauguration in Tallahassee, during which they were identified as “very, very important people” by his transition team. Heather Barker, DeSantis’ campaign finance director, told the Tampa Bay Times that DeSantis neither saw nor approved the guest list for his inauguration.

    After Parnas and Fruman were arrested, DeSantis ordered his political committee to disgorge the contribution from their company, Global Energy Producers. DeSantis has also said he knew Parnas as “one of the top” supporters of Trump in Florida, and that Parnas’ request last year to join a committee on his transition team was denied.

    But he has otherwise declined on multiple occasions to talk about his contacts with Parnas and Fruman, saying there’s nothing more to discuss.

    “I’m not going to have any comment on that,” DeSantis said when asked Monday about Parnas following a healthcare announcement at a Palm Harbor Walmart. “I’ve said all I’m going to say. I’m going to focus on doing the people’s work of Florida.”

    Likewise, Lt. Gov. Jeanette Nuñez declined to answer questions last week about her contact with Parnas when approached by a Miami Herald reporter following an event at Florida International University. Afterward, she issued a statement through a spokeswoman in which she said her only contact with either Parnas or Fruman came at an intimate, high-dollar fundraiser co-hosted by Parnas in October of 2018 at a private home in Hillsboro Beach.

    “My interaction with these individuals was solely attending a campaign function,” Nuñez said.

    Nuñez’s spokeswoman, Yohana de la Torre, said the lieutenant governor “had no conversations with either of the individuals.”

    Parnas and Fruman were active in pro-Israel organizations and in Washington, so it’s no surprise that they would attend a Capitol Hill event held by the Zionist Organization of America, which says it is the oldest pro-Israel organization in the United States.

    They were honored in March of this year by the National Council of Young Israel and traveled with the organization last summer in July as part of a delegation to Israel that also included former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee and former White House Communications Director Anthony Scaramucci.

    During the trip, they spent an evening at the home of Simon Falic, a prominent Florida GOP donor.

    “Lev has a tendency to stick his head in a lot of pictures,” Scaramucci told reporters recently during a visit to Fort Lauderdale. “Igor’s not a talkative person. Lev’s a very talkative person, fluent in English, and was dropping Rudy’s name like a machine gunner.”

    Morton Klein, president of the Zionist Organization of America, said in an interview Monday that the organization’s Washington Mission is typically attended by 300 to 400 people, and features roughly three dozen congressional speakers. DeSantis, he said, “was one of the best friends of Israel when he was in Congress.”

    Tickets to the event were between $169 and $219, according to an advertisement posted on the organization’s website. But Klein says he doesn’t remember ever meeting Parnas or Fruman, and couldn’t say if they attended the event last May.

    “All I can tell you Is I personally had never heard their names until they were in the news. I have no recollection of ever meeting them,” he said. “If they were even moderately active, then I would have known their names.”
    ____________________________________________________________________________________

    Republicans had Ukranian’s faced with fear because we are their only ally against Russia andthere Congressional approved aid was being used as a tool to extort your cry baby President. We aren’t seeing much real film from Ukraines war but CNN just showeda bit today but everything revolves the cry baby Trumps tweets.

    • Josh… from January 17, 2018 oh ad the sad part about Mueller’s report that the only intelligence he used was America’s and there were 4 other nations he didn’t use.. about 22 minutes..lots and lots of details here..

  3. equating the GOP’s opposition to Trump’s impeachment with the Democrats (not Democratic) opposition to Clintons is about as non sequitur as can be.

    Clinton lied to a grand jury. That’s a felony.

    The absolute worst Trump has done is sought assistance in an investigation from a foreign government … which happens routinely. This one just happens to implicate the leaders of the democrat (not democratic) party for the very allegations made against Trump …. “the names changed to protect the guilty”

    Save for the process, there’s no equivalence in any of these proceedings. Unfortunately, the political climate has just become digitized; yes/no, 0/1 … particularly since Obama’s second term. That’s unfortunate but it’s also clear.

    • I’m gonna hang out with the facts which I learned in science class is the best and facts are being released on CNN from this secret deep in the basement meetings. See the things is Republicans were in those meetings and that is always where that committee meets.

      • You had me til you said you were getting FACTS from CNN. Getting facts from cnn is like learning to farm by watching Green Acres!

        • The facts I’m speaking of was the sworn testimony of years and multiple administrations which have testified in spite of Trump’s taunts and threats they shouldn’t. I got it from the House Intelligence Committee’s sworn testimony transcripts which Republicans had Representatives setting on that committee. CNN was just releasing statements from those and a friend phoned and I switched to it. If it’d been FOX releasing it I’d have switched there.

          This report my interest you…

          https://www.alternet.org/2019/11/republicans-favorite-impeachment-witness-just-changed-his-story-and-now-its-much-worse-for-trump/

          • I’m a Bullard. My mother’s maiden name was Bullard. All her brothers fought in WWII. One got wounded in action so they awarded him a Purple and another loss an eye.

        • It’s a bit dated but still notable. Also this Saudi prince Alwaleed bin Talal bailed out Trump from bankruptcies and also Trump was the first person elected President that couldn’t borrow money from an American bank. You’re seeing Russian laundering money buying those golf courses and could someday see Trump on his knees before Putin… oh and Alweed bin Talai is the man that said an American divided makes us money… Viola! Meet Mr Sean Hannity…

          https://www.theguardian.com/media/2017/nov/08/saudi-prince-sells-21st-century-fox-stake-in-blow-to-murdochs

          Key Murdoch ally sells stake in 21st Century Fox
          This article is more than 2 years old

          Sale by Saudi prince Alwaleed bin Talal leaves company vulnerable to shareholder rebellions

          A key ally of Rupert Murdoch has sold his stake in 21st Century Fox, leaving the company more vulnerable to a rebellion by shareholders unhappy at the dominance of the Murdoch family.

          Prince Alwaleed bin Talal, who controls the investment firm Kingdom Holding and is one of the world’s richest men, at one stage owned more than 6% of Fox and has consistently backed the Murdochs in shareholder votes about the family’s control of the company.

          Rupert Murdoch’s media empire may not last his lifetime
          Nils Pratley
          Nils Pratley
          Read more
          He has been a shareholder in Murdoch companies – including Fox and News Corp, the owner of the Sun, Times and Wall Street Journal – for two decades and expressed public support for the family after the phone-hacking scandal at the News of the World in 2011.

          Regulatory filings in New York show Prince Alwaleed reduced his stake to 4.98% in December 2015, and an analysis of Bloomberg data shows the stake has fallen to zero since the end of the last financial quarter, on 30 September.

          It is not clear why he sold the stake or to whom. The sale represents the loss of an ally for the Murdochs and adds an extra twist to reports this week that Fox held talks with Disney about selling most of the company.

          The Murdochs control about 39% of the voting rights in Fox, giving them control of the key decisions, but own only about 17% of the shares.

          Fox is run by Rupert Murdoch and his sons Lachlan and James, the latter of whom is chief executive. The company is trying to buy the 39% of Sky that it does not own in an £11.7bn deal, but the deal is being investigated by the UK’s Competition and Markets Authority on the grounds of media plurality and commitment to broadcasting standards.

          Fox’s proposed takeover of Sky suffered another setback this week when the media regulator Ofcom ruled that two Fox News programmes that discussed the Manchester Arena bombing and Donald Trump’s travel ban breached UK broadcasting standards.

          On Wednesday night Fox reported better than expected quarterly results, with its cable assets helping the company beat analysts’ expectations. The company reported revenues of $7bn (£5.3bn) for the three months ending 30 September 2017.

          Sign up to the Media Briefing: news for the news-makers
          Read more
          The Murdochs declined to comment on the Sky deal beyond any already published statements but said they remained confident the deal would be completed by the middle of 2018.

          Lachlan Murdoch, the executive co-chair of 21st Century Fox, also said the company would also not comment on any talks with Disney. But he dismissed speculation that the Murdochs had decided Fox lacked the scale to compete with rivals including Amazon, Google and Netflix, which has been seen as one of the prime reasons the company might consider a sale.

          “Fox has the required scale,” Murdoch said. “We are excited about all our brands and the opportunities they offer the company.”

          Fox is facing a rebellion at its annual meeting next Thursday from shareholders who are unhappy with the company’s performance and how it handled a sexual harassment scandal at Fox News. The Nathan Cummings Foundation, a small Fox shareholder, has tabled a proposal to eliminate the shareholding structure that allows the Murdochs to control the company despite their limited shareholding.

          The foundation has been pushing for change at Fox and News Corp for several years. Fox has recommended that shareholders oppose the motion.

          CtW Investment Group, which represents pension funds, wrote to Fox last month calling for an overhaul of the board, including the departure of Sir Rod Eddington as a non-executive and the replacement of “insiders” with independent directors.

          It also called for the creation of a corporation responsibility and compliance committee and said the board of Fox had been slow to respond to the scandal at Fox News, which led to the departure of the channel’s boss, Roger Ailes – who has since died – and the presenter Bill O’Reilly.

          The CtW letter said: “The board stands at a critical juncture. The cultural crisis that has been exposed over the last 15 months at Fox News is a clear illustration of corporate control problem at 21st Century Fox. We would like to see the board take steps to minimise the risk of such a crisis in the future.

          “We sincerely believe these governance changes are critical to ward off future corporate crises at Fox.”

          Fox declined to comment. Kingdom Holding did not respond to a request for comment.

          Prince Alwaleed was among 11 princes arrested – along with four ministers and dozens of former ministers – over the weekend by the Saudi government in what was described as an anti-corruption crackdown.

          Since you’re here…
          … we have a small favour to ask. More people, like you, are reading and supporting the Guardian’s independent, investigative journalism than ever before. And unlike many news organisations, we made the choice to keep our reporting open for all, regardless of where they live or what they can afford to pay.

          The Guardian will engage with the most critical issues of our time – from the escalating climate catastrophe to widespread inequality to the influence of big tech on our lives. At a time when factual information is a necessity, we believe that each of us, around the world, deserves access to accurate reporting with integrity at its heart.

          Our editorial independence means we set our own agenda and voice our own opinions. Guardian journalism is free from commercial and political bias and not influenced by billionaire owners or shareholders. This means we can give a voice to those less heard, explore where others turn away, and rigorously challenge those in power.

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          Why did Saudi prince Alwaleed bin Talal sell his holding off? He was caught giving to ISIS !

        • Have you ever heard of St. Jude’s Hospital? Well here is something true that they were lied to about.. Don’t let the messenger scare you because I know it to be true and this cat used St Judes to pocket dollars for him and remember Donald Trump the father just last week had to admit in New York start that his Charity had been used by him as self serving then Trump was made to pay $2 million to people he ripped of in his Charity name… FACT and we don’t need Fox or CNN as its officially documented in New York State Court…

          https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bdBgW0jygjk

          https://www.scarymommy.com/trump-fined-2-million-veterans-fundraiser/

        • What month do you plant peanuts in Erath County? May if its dry enough and warm enough to germinate the seeds..hopefully harvest in October if its dry enough to go in the fields.. September hopefully winter wheat get in the ground… I’m not Eddie Albert the male star of Green Acres and Zsa XZsa Gabor played his wife…

        • Kerry…

          from January 17, 2018 oh ad the sad part about Mueller’s report that the only intelligence he used was America’s and there were 4 other nations he didn’t use.. about 22 minutes..lots and lots of details here..

    • WOW!

      https://www.alternet.org/2019/11/trumps-war-on-truth-gets-sicker-and-more-dangerous/?utm_source=push_notifications

      Written by Bob Cesca / Salon November 5, 2019
      Given how the year started out, the Virginia Democratic Party didn’t need another bombshell news story to collapse on its head so close to the state and local elections this week. But it appears as though Gov. Ralph Northam executed a baby. Sure, Virginia is a death penalty state, and even though Northam is personally opposed to capital punishment — a baby? How barbaric, how heartless, how … completely untrue.

      No, Northam didn’t really execute a baby. But that didn’t stop Donald Trump from telling his Red Hat cult in Tupelo, Mississippi, over the weekend that the governor had done exactly that.

      About 75 minutes into his latest pathologically unspooled campaign rally, the president said, “The governor of Virginia executed a baby, remember that whole thing?”

      No, I don’t remember that whole thing. Because it never happened.

      Northam didn’t execute a baby, obviously, even though it’s true he once he botched an explanation about hospice and palliative care for babies born with severe birth defects. He was talking about rare and terrible cases when a baby is born and won’t survive for long due to physical deformities or other life-ending complications, and was merely voicing support for parents who choose to let their dying child pass away peacefully without unnecessary pain or suffering. The botched part had to do with the context of a reporter’s question about late-term abortions in cases when pregnancy threatens the life of an expecting mothers.

      In Donald Trump’s desperately warped brain, and subsequently the warped brains of his fanboys, however, this means that Northam supports allowing parents to gratuitously murder their newborns. Or at least that’s how the lie started, but now it’s “the governor of Virginia executed a baby.”

      Back here on Earth One, no rational adult would jump to “Northam supports infanticide” and certainly not that Northam “executed a baby.” Sadly, Trump and his Red Hats aren’t rational adults. I know that’s not a politically acceptable sentiment, but let’s stare the ugly truth in the face here. The Trump base has completely lost touch with reality, and it’s one of the most damaging aspects of the ongoing Trump crisis.

      It’s kind of impressive when we look at this phenomenon dispassionately. The conservative entertainment complex, along with Russian disinformation and Trump himself have convinced upwards of 60 million American voters that one of the most notorious bullshit artists since Hearst and Barnum is, in fact, the only trustworthy man in politics. And everyone else is a pack of liars. It’s perhaps the most successful propaganda campaign in recent memory. It’s like convincing half the population that cancer is healthy, or that goblins exist. Of all the Republicans to choose from, the one they chose as their Truth Messiah is … Donald Trump, the man who once stared into a camera and declared that steaks sold in Sharper Image mall stores were “the world’s greatest steaks.”

      Sixty million suckers have been successfully tricked into going along with whatever nefariousness Trumpism injects into their tenderized skulls, whether via Fox News, Russian propaganda or the White House,. Adding to the problem, there are countless millions more who might not believe every Trump lie, but who don’t know what to believe, leaving themselves angry and confused, incapable of accepting that anything is real, pro- or anti-Trump. When people don’t know what to believe, the takeaway is the insufferable “both sides are liars” cop-out, which serves to depress voter turnout, thereby favoring the Republicans — low turnout has always been good for GOP candidates. And Trump wins.

      When it comes to the true believers, though, the consequences of their total disconnect from reality could be catastrophic.

      When “an ignorant mass of propaganda-addled people,” as NeverTrumper Tom Nichols called them the other day, is willing to believe the screeching of a man who lied, stole and flimflammed his way through the New York real estate sector, a man with a four-decade record of one scam after another, everything from Trump University to the Trump Foundation — a man with a growing roster of nearly 14,000 lies since taking office — they’re willing to believe literally anything. It’s not unlike Scientology: Once you’re in, you’re all in. Forty percent of American voters have “gone clear” — Full Xenu.

      Now, the “forgotten” whoevers enjoy a white-knuckled grip on the levers of power, steering us anywhere their dictators want to go, including the utter destruction of America disguised as making America great. That’s damage. A republic, along with its democratic processes, can’t possibly function, much less endure, when half of all voting adults, give or take, are spoiling to act on marching orders from a regime of predatory disinformers.

      Trump’s loyalists believe Democrats want to execute newborns. They believe our overseas allies are impressed by Trump’s leadership. They believe the president didn’t commit obstruction of justice in a dozen instances exhaustively described in the Mueller report. They believe Trump’s extortion of Ukraine was a “perfect conversation.” They believe Trump is building the “beautiful” border wall, rather than just replacing existing fences. They believe this is the greatest economy in history. I could do this all day.

      If they’re willing to believe all that, they’d easily be willing, with just the right combination of tweets and rally skits, to believe that perhaps the Democrats conspired with Ukraine to frame Russia in the 2016 attack on our election. And if they believe that one, they might be willing to believe that maybe the Democrats will do it again. Once that’s accepted, they might also be willing to allow Trump to defy the results of the 2020 election if he loses. From there, they might additionally accept a move by Trump to become the American Putin by creating a new governing post for himself and then rigging subsequent elections to keep himself there.

      They might even be willing to accept that nuclear war is the only way to stop Iran or China from being so unfair to Trump. They might also accept it if Trump ordered Bill Barr to have Adam Schiff and Nancy Pelosi arrested for an attempted coup.

      It doesn’t require much by way of imagination to consider the myriad ways in which Trump could exploit the undeniable power of his cult leadership. Even if he never goes there, it’s unacceptable on its face that he possesses this power in the first place.

      Politics has always involved a degree of subterfuge and one-off lies. This crisis, on the other hand, has careened far beyond normalcy into a perfect storm in which an entire universe of falseness is being devoured by a voting bloc of 40-percenters who are way too close to acting as a ruling majority. Indeed, the source code of the nation’s current sickness is less about the specific lies being told and more about the quasi-religiosity of the believers of those lies. We can debunk every falsehood as it ejaculates out of Trump’s yapper — we can share every Snopes and PolitiFact item proving Trump’s mendacity — but if these indoctrinated, conditioned dupes are willing to defiantly embrace the lies anyway, irrespective of the facts, it’s all wasted effort and Trump remains at the helm, interfaced directly with the worldview of his fanboys. Damage.

      We’re far beyond partisanship now. The existential debate of our time isn’t about right versus left. We’ve found ourselves locked in a fight to defend the very fabric of reality itself. The endgame for the rest of us Normals is to victoriously bend the national discourse back to a place where a functioning supermajority accepts that reality is reality and lies are fiction. This has to be achieved before the mentally disintegrating Mad King convinces his disciples that he can use his unlimited power to arrest dissidents, to execute “invading” migrants, to arrest for murder parents who allow their dying infant to pass away peacefully — to manifest horror shows we can barely begin to contemplate.

      The aforementioned 60 million Americans should never have allowed themselves to be fished in by this troll and his gaggle of Fifth Avenue Clampetts. Sadly, the duty of course-correcting the destructive Trump tangent in our national history now falls to the rest of us. Containing and marginalizing the sickness is more important to the future of the republic than just about anything else, shy of the climate crisis. Whether by impeachment or popular election, all this must end, and the impact craters must be carefully filled in by legislative reforms and amendments so it’s less likely to ever happen again.

      Karl Rove was once quoted as saying that he and the Bush administration were in the process of subverting the “reality-based community” by manufacturing their own reality. Ironically, it was a duplicitous reality show host who, more than a decade later, finished the job.

      Bob Cesca is a regular contributor to Salon. He’s also the host of “The Bob Cesca Show” podcast, and a weekly guest on both the “Stephanie Miller Show” and “Tell Me Everything with John Fugelsang.” Follow him on Facebook and Twitter. Contribute through LaterPay to support Bob’s Salon articles — all money donated goes directly to the writer.

      ___________________________________________________________________________________

      There are just too many dead soldiers buried overseas for me to go with the Trump family. I am just too American to go with Trump! Hey what about those Monday Night Cowboys?

    • And the horrific murder of 9 Americans some as young as 6 months old is unbearable for democrats, republicans and independents. Many of us Americans tried to prevent Ronald Reagan from starting drug cartels in South America which the Mexican cartels overran.

      And for those too young to know much about Ronald Reagan then here is you a few facts on the ohn Bircher as they overran the Republican Party through deceit.

      Read them all and then re-think your America…

      https://listverse.com/2015/01/15/10-reprehensible-crimes-of-ronald-reagan/

    • Tom… from January 17, 2018 oh ad the sad part about Mueller’s report that the only intelligence he used was America’s and there were 4 other nations he didn’t use.. about 22 minutes..lots and lots of details here..

  4. Here is what to look for from OUR Attorney General supposed to be not Trump’s headhunter… this willl be big stuff on FOX Cable News…

    https://www.alternet.org/2019/11/bill-barr-is-racing-to-deliver-a-report-that-blows-up-the-impeachment-inquiry/?utm_source=push_notifications

    Bill Barr is racing to deliver a report that blows up the impeachment inquiry

    Written by Mark Sumner / Daily Kos November 6, 2019
    Attorney General William Barr is racing to complete a new “report” before Thanksgiving. And if Barr’s very poor summary of the Mueller report threw Trump a lifeline by distorting the real findings of the special counsel investigation, this new report looks to be more like an atom bomb, designed to incinerate Washington by putting the whole Justice Department behind a conspiracy theory that rewrites history and declares open warfare on political opponents. And Republicans are already meeting with Barr to plan a “roll out” for this supposedly classified report in order to maximize its impact.

    Barr appears to have taken the results of an inspector general report that was expected to end weeks ago, rolled it together with the investigation-into-the-investigation that he launched under the nominal control of prosecutor John Durham, and capped it all with the “findings” of a world tour that included attempts to get the Australian government, the Italian government, and the U.K. government to participate in attacks on U.S. intelligence agencies. What’s going to come out the other end could be a dud, but it could launch an effort to derail the impeachment process—and more.

    Barr’s effort to create a comprehensive, all-conspiracy-theories-combined report seems to have delayed delivery of the long-expected findings from Department of Justice Inspector General Michael Horowitz. Republicans were generally thrilled by Horowitz’s earlier report in which he was critical of former FBI director James Comey for his handling of some classified materials. That report had right-wing news outlets clamoring over potential charges against Comey. But despite claims that the findings justified Republican attacks on the entire Russia investigation, the actual complaints were minor and led to nothing.

    That seems unlikely to be the case this time. As The Washington Post reports, Barr has subsumed Horowitz’s work because “the inspector general does not have the authority to declassify information” and Barr apparently intends to release information that dips into classified documents at both the FBI and CIA to tell his story of how the Russia investigation was unjustified from the start.

    Barr is having advance meetings (including one on Wednesday with Senate Judiciary chair Lindsey Graham) so that talking points and presentations can be ready in advance of an official release.

    Interestingly enough, Michael Horowitz does not appear to be attending the meetings on how to release information supposedly based on the material he assembled. But then, the investigation Barr is conducting has moved far beyond the sort of internal chastisement that might be delivered by Horowitz. The investigation he and Durham are conducting is now a criminal investigation, and is “pursuing potential crimes.”

    But not crimes in the sense of the hundreds of connections between the Trump White House and Russia. Or crimes in the sense of Trump’s obstruction of the Russia investigation. Certainly not crimes in the sense of Trump directly lying to investigators in the written answers he provided to the special counsel’s office.

    Instead, Barr is directly attempting to put some proof behind the claims that Donald Trump was trying to extort out of Ukraine: That there was never any real contact between Russia and the Trump campaign, that the DNC servers were not in fact hacked by Russia, that Maltese professor Joseph Mifsud was a CIA plant put in place to lure George Papadopoulos, that Australian official Andrew Downer was an instrument of U.S. intelligence, and that Ukrainian hackers conspired with Hillary Clinton to make it seem as if Russia stole data from the DNC and presented it to WikiLeaks, when all the while it was a scheme to justify launching an investigation into the Trump campaign.

    Barr and his associates have been racing to complete this report so that it can be dropped on the impeachment inquiry before the holidays. Major parts of the report apparently remain unwritten, but the fact that the publicity campaign is getting underway in advance of the report’s completion is not exactly a sign that this is going to be a contrite “nothing major found” report. And Barr has been at the center of forwarding Trump’s conspiracy theories and supporting attacks on the intelligence community. He’s already said, “I think spying on a political campaign is a big deal. I think spying did occur, but the question is whether it was adequately predicated and I’m not suggesting it wasn’t adequately predicated, but I need to explore that.”

    The report coming back could declare no evidence to support Trump’s conspiracy theories and say that Barr found that “spying” to be “adequately predicated.” Don’t count on it. And don’t count on there not being indictments.

    Barr did not shift to a criminal investigation because he doesn’t intend to arrest someone. There are going to be claims of serious wrongdoing. They are going to be aimed at not just creating a distraction to derail the impeachment hearings, but to provide “evidence” that Trump’s requests for investigations by Ukraine were justified. The question is going to be whether they are merely awful and damaging to the nation, or absolutely incinerate the rule of law.

    Next week, open hearings are set to begin in the House impeachment inquiry, and it seems very likely that actual articles of impeachment will be getting a vote before the end of the year. So far, the best defense that Republicans have dreamed up is claiming ignorance—not attending meetings, not reading transcripts, and openly declaring that they’re not about to start.

    But when Barr speaks, they’re all going to be listening.

    _________________________________________________________________________________

    Barr is Papa Bush buddy and ex-General.. Big Christians in everyone’s eyes and they need lies to move people that are everyday lawmaker followers. In my honest opinion.

  5. With news that the Viet Nam Remembrance Wall reaches Erath County that it is a Key Time that we truly say with meaning Thanks For Serving to a Purple Heart Medal man from Viet Nam over a man that couldn’t go because he had bone spurs after his college deferments ran out…and since 1985 is still serving America with truth and valor…

    Thanks for Serving William B. Taylor Jr.

    https://www.nytimes.com/2019/11/06/us/politics/trump-impeachment-hearings.html?action=click&module=Top%20Stories&pgtype=Homepage

  6. I didn’t vote for Hillary Clinton or Don Trump. I voted for Bernie Sanders in the May primary. A friend we know called me about 7:25 a.m. election day and told me he canceled my Hillary vote and I told him I couldn’t support either candidate.

    I never could deduce a sound reason anyone vote for a person that had been bankrupt 3 times and no American Banks would lend a penny. My dad told me about Trump one night in the late 1980’s as we watched Trump being featured a television show called “Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous” when my dad told me that kid is nothing but a “towel boy” and Flim-Flam man.

  7. And President Cross after you read this if you do?

    https://www.alternet.org/2019/11/trump-used-money-raised-for-vets-as-campaign-slush-fund-that-should-end-his-political-career/?utm_source=push_notifications

    Ask yourself this, how many emails did the Bush-Cheney-Karl Rove administration destroy? Many zeros can be added to Bill Clinton’s wife amount. I don’t care if the Clinton’s and Trumps are in the same cell. Bill Clinton and Senator Phil Gramm got rid of the Glass-Steagall Act and then how long was it util Bernacke was pulling $7 trillion out of then air so socialism could bail out the Banks, Stock Market. Yes, 2007-08.

    Talk about investigating the Biden household. Okay but first I won’t to investigate The Bannon household. I want question him. Because there are questions he needs to 320 million Americans. Need a clue?

    https://www.usatoday.com/story/tech/talkingtech/2017/07/18/steve-bannon-learned-harness-troll-army-world-warcraft/489713001/

    https://www.businessinsider.com/steve-bannon-white-gamers-seinfeld-joshua-green-donald-trump-devils-bargain-sarah-palin-world-warcraft-gamergate-2017-7

    There is much much more and I want know a few things and lock him up right along with the Clinton;s , member of Rove-Bush-Cheney, Obamas and right now the topic in public view is Don Drumpf, President of thee United States.

    Why Bannon? Well did you go to church Dr. Cross? And there you might have seen a Bible? A book of syoties from ancient Jewish tribes and prophets. Well I want to question moon faced Bannon about this and his role

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7GpEXhOR1q0

    The Jews will not replace us and Blood and Soil they chanted.

    Because if we are so supreme then how come The EARTH on fire? I’m telling you that those cats aren’t Republican, Think now of Wall Street and say Apple spending money to stash $700,000,000 overseas because they are such smart BUSINESS People. Trump and Bannon? They are rolling out the red carpet for Putin. I’m Highly Racist see I’m for the Human Race. Putin isn’t. Trump is lost in a kaleidescope of ego and grandiose. Highly untrustworthy.

    I want to question the Congressmen that brought that to the Beltway. Representative Gingrich and the old Texan Representative Armey.

    So the case at hand is we we going erupt America into following poor leaders engaging in killing and murdering in American Streets or are we going to jail our leaders?

    I’m democrat and like people that are on all sides and I know Republicans of many kinds right here in Erath County but I will say this about me and that is if a Democratic President was saying things about Republican that Trump is about democrats then I’d go to the paper and write a letter that I was a democrat and what the Democratic President was saying about Republicans did not apply to Republicans of Erath County.

    Time calls me on!!!…

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