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Pierce writes: "As John Mitchell, realizing that he was busted, once said to Carl Bernstein: 'Good god.'"

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerry Nadler. (photo: J. Scott Applewhite/AP)
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerry Nadler. (photo: J. Scott Applewhite/AP)

I No Longer Believe House Democrats Will Uphold Their Constitutional Duty

By Charles Pierce, Esquire

16 May 19

And, as a result, the president*'s chances of reelection are better than anyone thinks.

s John Mitchell, realizing that he was busted, once said to Carl Bernstein:

"Good god."

From CNBC, via the Washington Post:

Nadler, who would preside over impeachment proceedings in the House, also expressed frustration with Attorney General William P. Barr during the interview with CNBC, at one point calling him “just a liar” and alleging that Barr mischaracterized the special counsel’s findings on coordination between Russia and Trump’s campaign during the 2016 election.

Nadler, whose committee is planning hearings with special counsel Robert S. Mueller III and key witnesses in his investigation, was asked by CNBC’s John Harwood about the timing of any potential impeachment proceedings that might follow. Some Democrats have argued that Trump obstructed Mueller’s probe and should be held accountable.

“It depends on what comes out,” Nadler said. “It depends where the American people are, whether they want to go that way or not. I don’t want to make it sound as if we’re heading for impeachment. Probably we’re not.” After Harwood noted that he’s heard from other House Democrats who think impeachment proceedings will be launched eventually, Nadler said: “Maybe. It’s hard. I don’t know.”

Will the Democrats ever learn a) how to message and b) that the press, no matter what conservatives say, is not their friend?

Right now, the Republicans are moving implacably on all fronts to discredit any official account of both how the Russian ratfcking helped the president* win and also to discredit (and stop) any further investigation into how big a crook the Russians helped install in the White House. The chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee is advising the president*'s son to ignore congressional subpoenas and, just yesterday, in federal court, the president*'s lawyers essentially argued that Congress has no right to investigate the president* over anything. And this is the kind of dithering we get from the guy who chairs the only committee that can bring impeachment charges against a criminal presidency*? To hell with knives and gunfights. This is bringing a pea-shooter to Omaha Beach.

I think Nadler is a decent chairman. I don't think he has any illusion about the ferocity of the forces arrayed against him. But, dammit, he holds the majority on the House Judiciary Committee and there is power in that. Spectacularly, it gets worse.

Nadler said that in his view, Trump can be impeached for only two things: “misuse of presidential power while president or for cheating in the election that gave him the presidency.” “Other than that, if he did something terrible before he was president, he robbed the bank, that’s not impeachable,” Nadler said. “It’s a crime, but it’s not impeachable.” Nadler also said he considers Trump a “con man” but argued that that is not grounds for impeachment either. “He is thoroughly dishonest. He lies all the time. We know that. None of those are grounds for impeachment,” Nadler said. “They’re grounds for defeating him for reelection.”

So, technically, if the country had elected Whitey Bulger instead of George H.W. Bush in 1988, Whitey's career as a serial-killing gangster would not have been grounds for impeachment unless he strangled someone in the East Room after having been inaugurated? Also, if the president* did cheat in the election in order to win it, and the House impeached him for it, it would be impeaching him because "he did something terrible before he was president." Nadler's argument doesn't even make sense, and that's in addition to the fact that he narrowed the grounds on which he might wield his considerable clout unnecessarily and voluntarily.

For the first time, I find myself siding with those people who believe that, ultimately, the House will chicken out of its constitutional duty and, because of that, I find myself siding with people who believe that the president*'s re-election chances are better than anyone thinks.

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+39 # chapdrum 2019-05-16 13:12
It's looking like most of the House will continue to do nothing. The Don must have some nasty m'f'ers on his side.
+80 # librarian1984 2019-05-16 15:43
Well duh.

The Democrats have been chickening out of their constitutional duties since Reagan was president. That dotard should have been impeached for Iran Contra.

And is there anybody who doesn't think W and his Dick should have been impeached for any of a dozen reasons, including lying us into war and profiteering?

Or that the DNC should have been held accountable for cheating all through the 2016 primary, or their sabotage of progressive candidates in 2018?

Is this somehow a shock to Charles Pierce, Esquire,that Nancy and the rest are corrupt to their marrow and ineffectual down to the atomic level?

How is this a surprise?
+28 # Observer 47 2019-05-17 08:56
BRAVO! All the apologies for the Dems were lame decades ago. They GAVE the 2016 election to the Dumpster through their insistence on sabotaging the primary process in favor of a Wall Street darling. They never learn, nor do the people who continue to support them no matter what, simply because they're not Republicans. The only hope is the handful of new Progressives like AOC. I believe that Bernie is the best choice in 2020, but I have no illusions that the DNC will let him be nominated, because he doesn't represent corporate money.
+1 # Robbee 2019-05-17 09:46
Quoting librarian1984 2019-05-16 15:43:
the DNC should have been held accountable

- where the dem party gets held accountable is in the dem presidential primary debates!

where the underlying theme will be which candidate has the best dem voting record - which, naturally, will be bernie!

and where dems have fallen short for workers, for example nafta and tpp, will be
shown to be connected with the interests of a candidate's corporate donors!

and we will learn that one or some candidates are largely supported by private health care purveyors, at $2,800 a plate fundraisers!

and! for audiences! all progressive candidates will connect the dots!

we are at war for the soul of the dem party!

that will be how the public, beyond what it did in 2018, renews its push to hold the DNC accountable for its past 30 or 40 years of worker disloyalty!

on a semi-personal note: without cable that i don't afford, in 2016 i was able to get some debates livestreamed on computer - this year, blast! cnn does not livestream its dem town halls!

as a public service i wish cnn would follow the savvy lead of fox business news to livestream repuke candidate debates, to convey dem candidates more widely than its business model now permits, thanks!

about "the DNC should have been held accountable" count on a reconning - during dem primaries! - stay tuned!
0 # DongiC 2019-05-18 02:17
Penetrating question. Let's see if Pierce tries to answer!
+7 # chapdrum 2019-05-18 12:52
From my information, Reagan's people somehow worked out a deal with their Iranian counterparts to hold on to the American hostages then being held in Iran until after the election of 1980, at which time Reagan could (and did) take credit for their release. People as learned as Thom Hartmann maintain that that was an act of treason.
-6 # Depressionborn 2019-05-18 21:05
hi, 84.
Congress simply lies cheats and steals. They cannot help it. That is what they do. How do you think Bernie got his houses?
+6 # librarian1984 2019-05-19 03:10
Hello, D.

One home was a family legacy to his wife and he earned quite a bit from writing a bestselling book. I don't begrudge him that. Do you?

But until recently Sanders, who's been a Representative and a Senator for quite a long time, was the poorest member.

You and I agree on some things, particularly the craven monstrosities in Congress, but I still believe Sanders is that rare being -- an honest politician -- and an opportunity to correct the abuses of the last 40+ years.

-3 # Depressionborn 2019-05-19 17:43
"abuses of the last 40+ years," librarian1984.

Yes, and Bernie has a nice big "abuse" list. His list is good,"Correctio n" is the issue. It is about power.
+66 # DongiC 2019-05-16 17:27
The Representatives in the House need to be reminded by their electorate that they have a constitutional duty to protect the Republic from reprobates like Donald Trump. They need to be contacted by phone, e-mails or letters and told of their duties and what will happen to them in the next election should they be remiss. Impeachment is one method to clip the wings of the master con job that has descended upon the White House. They should get to it.
+10 # Liebermania 2019-05-16 22:20
If Nadler thinks the reasons he gives are the only reason for impeachment, maybe he should read "The Constitution Demands It". He can buy it at Amazon for $5.33.
+5 # RLF 2019-05-17 04:40
Democrats=Repub licans that don't want to take the blame.

It won't make them money for the next election cycle and we know that that is all the Democratic party cares about! If a Biden is the candidate, I'm voting DS or Green. Screw it! Let the country burn to the ground if it's not going to get better.
+9 # USADUDE 2019-05-17 05:48
I have been against impeachment from the start. Don the Con our Grifter in Chief the Swam Creature himself if and that’s a giant Yuge if he was removed by the Senate his VP the fawning ponce Pence would pardon his career criminal ass faster than you can say Corruption. I would like to see Donny Douche Bag the whinnying fat bitch from Queens held to account for once in his miserable life. Otherwise I may just leave this country and live an expat life in a place where the hypocrisy is in a language I don’t understand so well and I can be blissfully ignorant.
+28 # wrknight 2019-05-17 06:58
If Donald Trump can't be impeached, then no President will ever be impeached. Likewise, if we can't control a President's urge to start a war whenever and wherever he damned will pleases, then we will be at war forever.

So it would appear the the President is above the law, can't be impeached, can start war whenever and wherever he chooses and can even declare national emergencies on a whim to make temporary laws (read permanent) through executive orders, appropriate funds for whatever purpose and deploy troops domestically.

Given all that, it would appear that the Constitution is nothing more than a quaint piece o paper, well preserved for the public's amusement and nostalgia; and that Congress is simply a body of useless people drawing nice salaries with lots of perks that does nothing but sit around pontificating and bloviating.

The only thing missing in our banana republic is the bananas.
+11 # Steve B 2019-05-17 08:13
The Trump "presidency" is a direct result of the Democrats' continued and predictable betrayal of the American people. As the designated losers, even when they win (can you say Barack Obama) they are like Lucy pulling the football away every time Charlie Brown tries to kick it. Voters rejected the "lesser evil" Hillary so we have the greater evil Trump. Regarding impeachment, the entire system needs to be impeached. Instead of throwing money away by donating to Democrats, I suggest you watch this video and support Represent.Us, a truly effective independent movement
+4 # Jaax88 2019-05-17 12:48
Just for the record, the voters did NOT reject Hillary. It was the rigged Electoral College scheme that unfortunately allowed Trump to take office.
+7 # wrknight 2019-05-17 20:25
The voters did reject Hillary. All you have to do is count the voters who didn't vote. 40% of eligible voters, most of the Democrats or Democratic leaning DID NOT vote in the election Hillary lost.
+10 # librarian1984 2019-05-18 01:34
Exactly right. Democrats shoved the worst possible candidate down our throats ... a corrupt establishment warmonger who held unpopular policy positions and had little skill or interest in campaigning ... when it was obvious voters wanted change.

Polling showed this consistently for over a year.

There is an element at rsn totally unwilling to accept reality on that score.

Clinton was the wrong candidate. The voters knew it but the establishment rigged the system ... and gave us Donald Trump.

This is important because they are trying to do it again. Anyone who doesn't want Trump to have a second term should accept the reality of what happened and demand an honest primary for 2020.
+28 # farbie 2019-05-17 09:44
Reading Charles Pierce's article this morning makes me DAMN MAD! If Mueller can't testify because Trump and his minions won't let him, then the House MUST start impeachment proceedings immediately! It doesn't matter if the Senate won't convict him. This is not the 1998 "impeachment" of Bill Clinton - Donald Trump is the WORST president we have ever had, surpassing even Andrew Johnson. He should be impeached, even if he can't be convicted. Those who argue that the House should focus on the American people and 'getting things done' are ignoring the fact that NOTHING substantive can get through the Republican Senate.
0 # Depressionborn 2019-05-26 14:10
Hey farbie 2019-05-17 09:44 Mueller can testify anytime. It's another guy who can't.

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