The House Will Not Vote On Impeachment. It Will Censure Trump.

November 26, 2019

The live TV impeachment inquiry circus is for now over.  The procedural parts are ready to begin. Both sides, the Republicans and Democrats, will have to decide which tactical moves they will now make.

Adam Schiff, who presided over the investigative part, wrote to his colleagues that he wants to immediately move forward:

As required under House Resolution 660, the Committees are now preparing a report summarizing the evidence we have found this far, which will be transmitted to the Judiciary Committee soon after Congress returns from the Thanksgiving recess.

Chairman Nadler and the Members and staff of the Judiciary Committee will proceed in the next phase of the impeachment inquiry.

Nadler will write up articles of impeachment which will be referred to the whole House to vote on them. No Republican is likely to vote for impeaching Trump. It would be political suicide to do so. The Democrats have 233 Representatives and need 218 votes for a majority decision. They can afford a few abstentions but not too many.

At least one House Democrat, Brenda Lawrence from the swing state Michigan, has said that she will no longer support impeachment but that she prefers to censure the president instead of impeaching him. A censure is a formal reprimand by a majority vote that has no further consequences.

More are likely to follow that path as several recent polls show that impeachment is no longer en vogue:

The latest national poll from Emerson College finds 45 percent oppose impeaching President Trump, against 43 percent who support it. That’s a 6-point swing in support from October, when 48 percent of voters supported impeachment and only 44 percent opposed.More importantly, the poll shows more independents now oppose impeachment than support it, a significant change from Emerson’s polling in October. The new poll found 49 percent oppose impeachment compared to 34 percent who support it. In October, 48 percent of independents polled supported impeachment, against 39 percent who opposed.

Since October, Emerson has found Trump’s job approval rating jump by 5 points, from 43 percent to 48 percent.

This is the second poll this week to show voters are increasingly likely to oppose impeachment, ..

Even Democrats are losing interest in the issue. There is also this curious issue:

Josh Jordan @NumbersMuncher – 13:32 UTC · Nov 26, 2019CNN Poll: There is a *forty* point gender gap with regards to impeaching and removing Trump.
Men oppose impeachment 40-53 while women favor it 61-34.
That’s a pretty stunning contrast.

If more Democratic swing-state representatives defect from the impeachment camp, which seems likely, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi will have a big problem. How can she proceed?

  • If the House votes down impeachment Donald Trump wins.
  • If the House holds no vote on the issue Donald Trump wins.
  • If the House votes for censure Donald Trump will have won on points and the issue will be over.
  • If the House votes for impeachment the case goes to the Senate for trial.

The Republican led Senate has two choices:

  • It can decide to not open an impeachment trial by simply voting against impeachment. Trump wins.
  • It can open a impeachment trial, use it to extensively hurt the Democrats and, in the end, vote against impeachment. Trump wins big time.

Should the House vote for impeachment the Senate is likely to go the second path.

During impeachment the whole Senate sits as the High Court. The House of Representatives sends ‘managers’ who act as prosecutors. The chief justice of the U.S. presides. A vote for impeachment at the end of the trial requires a two-third majority.

The Republican majority in the Senate could use such a trial to bring disarray into the Democrats’ primary. Elizabeth Warren, Bernie Sanders, Kamala Harris, Cory Booker, Amy Klobuchar and Michael Bennet are all senators and Democratic primary candidates. They would probably have to stop campaigning to attend the trials. Another leading Democratic candidate would be a top witness.

The Republican senators would immediately call up a number of people for questioning. These would include Joe Biden, Hunter Biden, his business partner Devon Archer, John Kerry who was Secretary of State when Biden intervened for Burisma owner Mykola Zlochevsky and of course the CIA spy and (not-)whistleblower Erik Ciaramella. It would also be of interest to hear how deep the former CIA director John Brennan was involved in the issue.

The Senators could use the impeachment trial to dig into all the crimes the Democrats under Obama committed in Ukraine. They would concentrate not on the Maidan coup but on the aftermath when the deals were made. There surely is a lot of dirt out there and it is not only Joe Biden’s.

Then there is Russiagate. Did the Obama administration use illegal means to spy on the Trump campaign? As the issue is related to whatever Trump did there is good reason to include it into the trial.

The circus the Senate would open if the House votes for impeachment would play for many many months. The media would be full of this or that crime some Democrat or deep state actor supposedly committed. All this would play out during the election season.

An impeachment trial in the Senate would be a disaster for the Democrats.

I can not see why the Democrats would want to fall into such a trap. House leader Nancy Pelosi is experienced enough to not let that happen. But she will have to do some serious talking to convince the party that a vote on impeachment is not the best way to proceed.

The only sensible alternative is to censure Trump and that is why it is likely the way Nancy Pelosi will want to go. A partisan vote to censure Trump will do no damage to him but the Democrats would have at least done ‘something’ – even if it was only gesturing.

The whole impeachment show did little damage to Trump. His approval numbers are still fine. The show has given Trump another chance to run as the underdog who will drain the swamp in Washington DC. A major Democratic candidate is now damaged goods. Joe Biden no longer has any chance to win the presidency and it would be astonishing if he survives the primaries. The U.S. relations with the Ukraine have also been seriously damaged.

All this was easily predictable two months ago when the Democrats launched their impeachment show:

Instead of running on policy issues the Democrats will (again) try to find vague dirt with which they can tarnish Trump. This is a huge political mistake. It will help Trump to win his reelection.After two years of falsely accusing Trump of having colluded with Russia they now allege that he colludes with Ukraine. That will make it much more difficult for the Democrats to hide the dirty hands they had in creating Russiagate. Their currently preferred candidate Joe Biden will get damaged.

The Democrats are giving Trump the best campaign aid he could have wished for. Trump will again present himself as the victim of a witch hunt. He will again argue that he is the only one on the side of the people. That he alone stands with them against the bad politicians in Washington DC. Millions will believe him and support him on this. It will motivate them to vote for him.

The Democrats should ask themselves how they put themselves into the current situation. Who was the genius who came up with the (not-)whistleblower idea and pushed for the move. The shallow-brained Adam Schiff? The devious John Brennan?

Whoever it was the Democrats should shun that person before it creates more damage to their party.

I agree with this article to the extent that having a Senate trial would, indeed, seem to portend disaster for Democrats. They would lose the all-important narrative during an election year. Yet Pelosi, by allowing the impeachment “inquiry” (or whatever it is) to go forward, mounted the tiger of impeachment, and it is difficult to see how she could dismount without being eaten.
I would also wonder whether Trump would agree to be censured. Yes, that would stop the impeachment drive but censure would still put a black mark next to his name and I am not sure he would allow that to happen. Honestly, based on what little I am able to gather from the confusing mess of Ukrainegate, I think he would be right to feel that way.

The Democrats – at least the corrupt leadership of that party – probably coordinated this fiasco with their corporate benefactors as a way of ensuring Trump would have a second term, in much the same way John Kerry was brought in during the 2004 election to sandbag on behalf of the Democrats to make sure Bush/Cheney had another four years to continue the looting and destruction of Iraq.

American politics are largely nothing more than stage managed Kabuki theater, which is why we see such concerted efforts by both sides of the aisle to marginalize and diminish any candidates with the character and principles necessary to upset the apple cart, e.g. Tulsi Gabbard or Ron Paul back when he ran.

The ruling cabal isn’t about to allow something as trivial as a popularity contest decide who runs the Empire; they’ve got the entire process on lock-down while keeping the little people distracted with bread and circuses.

The Democratic Party plays an indispensable role in society’s political machinery. This doesn’t mean it has any power, in terms of controlling the state or setting policy. It means that without the existence of the Dem Party, the US could no longer maintain the pretense that it’s a “democracy.” If the Dem Party disintegrated, the US would be revealed for what it really is — a one-party state ruled by a narrow alliance of business interests.

The party’s true function is thus largely theatrical. It doesn’t exist to fight for change, but only to pose as a force which one fine distant day might possibly bestir itself to fight for change. Thus the whole magic of the Dem Party — the essential service it renders to the US power structure — lies not in what it does, but in its mere existence: by simply existing, and doing nothing, it pretends to be something it’s not; and this is enough to relieve despair & to let the system portray itself as a “democracy.”

As long as the Dem Party exists, most Americans will believe we have a “democracy” and a “choice” in how we are ruled. They will not despair, and will not revolt, as long as they have this hope for “change within the system.” From the system’s point of view, this mechanism serves as the ultimate safety valve — it insures against a despairing populace, thus eliminates the threat of rebellion; yet guarantees that no serious change to the system will be mounted, because the Dems weren’t designed to play that role in the first place.

The Democrats are not the “lesser evil;” they are an auxiliary subdivision of the same evil. To understand the political system, one must step back and regard its operation as an integrated whole. The system can’t be properly understood if one’s study of it begins with an uncritical acceptance of the 2-party system, and the conventional characterizations of the two parties. (Indeed, the fact that society encourages one to view it in this latter way, is perhaps a warning that this perspective should not be trusted.)

Any given piece of reactionary legislation is invariably supported by a higher percentage of Republicans than Democrats. Does this show that the Democrats are “less evil?” If one focuses on the efforts of the few outspoken dissenters, it’s easy to feel that the Democrats are somewhat less evil. But in the larger picture, Democrats invariably submit to what their bosses promulgate and the entire range of official opinion thereby shifts to the right. Thus the overall function of Democrats is not so much to fight, as to quasi-passively participate in this ever-rightward-moving process. Just as the Harlem Globetrotters need their Washington Generals to make their basketball games properly entertaining, Republicans need the Democrats for effective staging of the political show.

The Democrats are permitted to exist because their vague hint of eventual progressive change keeps large numbers of people from bolting the political system altogether. If the Democrats potentially threatened any sort of serious change, they would be banned. The fact that they are fully accepted by the corporations and political establishment tells us at once that their ultimate function must be wholly in line with the interests of those ruling groups.

For the Democratic Party to even begin to serve as a vehicle for opposing the absolute rule of capital, it would at a minimum have to be capable of acknowledging the conflict that exists between the interests of capital and the rest of the population; and of expressing a principled determination to take the side of the population in this conflict.

A party whose controlling elements are millionaires, lobbyists, fund-raisers, careerist apparatchiks, consultants, and corporate lawyers; that has stood by prostrate and helpless (when not actively collaborating) in the face of stolen elections, illegal wars, torture, CIA concentration camps, lies as state policy, and one assault on the Bill of Rights after the next, is not likely to take that position.

So-much for the Demorats being the “opposition party” to the Republicans or, most laughable, The Resistance(TM), to Donald Trump.

America’s vaunted Democracy is composed of a single party–the American Empire party–which has two different factions, Democrats and Republicans.

The differences and conflicts between them are all for show.

American Democracy is political professional wrestling, Kabuki Theater, and mediocre Reality TV all rolled into.

The first set of poll numbers on impeachment reflect that of alleged independents. It isn’t comprehensive as you present it.

The second online poll is terrible “news.” It actually reflects a divide between men and women of different political affiliation (not just Democratic Party Member or affiliation) and only reflects their answer to the question, “How closely are you following the news about Democrats in Congress conducting an impeachment inquiry into President Trump?” So, yes according to 1,000 people there was a 5% percent dip in interest; the previous poll 70% were interested to 30% not interested. If anything, it may reflect the short attention spans of our citizenry or just that of 50 people which could account for the 5% difference. The damn website is full of misinformation and when you start looking at the numbers you see that the Hill isn’t even reporting it correctly.

Finally, another poll shows the opposite, Independent Support For Impeachment Inquiry Rises Following Public Hearings

A quick review of other polls as compiled by Real Clear Politics, reveal that support of the inquiry is also up at least according to their latest polls, please review here,
Trump Impeachment Inquiry: Support/Oppose Polls

Posted by: Kaito

Moon of Alabama

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