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#52 Aug 24 2020 at 9:00 AM Rating: Good
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#53 Aug 24 2020 at 9:17 AM Rating: Good
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I see you, Friar Bijou.

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#54 Aug 24 2020 at 6:02 PM Rating: Good
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Smiley: moogle .
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#55 Aug 25 2020 at 8:21 AM Rating: Excellent
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FTFY. Smiley: grin
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#56 Aug 25 2020 at 3:56 PM Rating: Decent
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I'm just going to trim this down to the only thing that actually matters here:

Almalieque wrote:
I'm legitimately asking... What part of "There was exactly 0% expectation that the GOP Senate would remove the President" don't you understand? No amount of witnesses, no amount of evidence. There exist no realistic scenario where the GOP would remove the president. They would just keep moving the goal post.


I do understand this. That's what I've been arguing all along. If no amount of witnesses will change the outcome, why call any?

At the end of the day all that matters is that going into the Senate trial, a majority of the Senators determined that even if the House Managers proved all three charges true, it was still not a sufficiently severe violation of the law (treason or high crimes and misdemeanors) to justify removal of a President from office. Period. In the same way that even though no one disputes that President Clinton committed perjury the Senate also did not believe that was a sufficiently serious offense to remove him from office either.

You have to understand that an impeachment trial isn't like other trials. It's a trial with only one punishment: Removal from office. Therefore, you have to not only prove the President to be guilty of the charges, but also prove that those charges are of a sufficiently serious nature that removal from office is required. In this case, the House brought charges that a majority of the Senate thought didn't meet that standard. Period.
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#57 Aug 25 2020 at 5:14 PM Rating: Good
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gbaji wrote:
I do understand this. That's what I've been arguing all along. If no amount of witnesses will change the outcome, why call any?


Because the American People have the final say, come election day, and if witnesses are called, and the American people see that Congress had evidence, and didn't follow through, well, they get to make an INFORMED DECISION at the ballot box, rather than the curated information that was ALLOWED to be presented.

If you withhold the information, you are lying by omission.
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#58 Aug 25 2020 at 5:58 PM Rating: Decent
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stupidmonkey wrote:
gbaji wrote:
I do understand this. That's what I've been arguing all along. If no amount of witnesses will change the outcome, why call any?


Because the American People have the final say, come election day, and if witnesses are called, and the American people see that Congress had evidence, and didn't follow through, well, they get to make an INFORMED DECISION at the ballot box, rather than the curated information that was ALLOWED to be presented.


Yup. Hence my assertion that the purpose of the impeachment was not about actually removing Trump from office directly, but to try to influence the outcome of the 2020 election. It's a trial in the court of public opinion and not a trial of law. And the correct response when that sort of thing happens is to shut it down as quickly as possible.

The irony here, and something I mentioned earlier, is that this makes the House Democrats guilty of exactly that which they claimed Trump had done. They were using their power and positions in the government (the power to impeach with a simple majority of the House, which the Dems had) not in the furtherance of a legitimate legal purpose (an honest attempt to remove the president from office via impeachment trial), but to provide their party with an advantage in the upcoming election.

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If you withhold the information, you are lying by omission.


Only if the information is relevant to the issue at hand. This is another way in which an impeachment trial is different than a normal trial. A normal trial has a judge that can allow or disallow testimony and evidence based on relevance to the case. That's not true in an impeachment. The only block to irrelevant testimony is exactly what happened. And their choice appears to be backed up by the very case we're talking about. Bolton's book has been out for how many months now? Has anyone heard of a single thing from that book that would have been a smoking gun in terms of Trumps actions in terms of Ukraine aid? No, right? And I'm reasonably certain that if there was something in the book like "Trump told me he was withholding aid in order to pressure Ukraine to dig up dirt on Biden", we would have all heard about it by now. Thus, we can reasonably conclude that he didn't write anything like that, and thus would not have testified to anything like that.

Which means his testimony was irrelevant to the case and thus properly rejected.

If you were paying attention during the trial there was an absolute flood of Dems talking about Russian collusion and the Mueller report, and a whole bunch of things completely unrelated to the actual charges being brought. In a normal courtroom that would not be allowed, but this isn't a normal courtroom. And that's your first clue that they weren't really trying to change the vote in the impeachment, but just using the fact that the proceedings were being broadcast live to give them the opportunity to bash Trump over and over to the public. It was a free microphone and they all used it. So yeah, the GOP had a reason to just shut things down as quickly as possible. It was a joke from day one.

And as far as actually affecting the election? Who knows? You have to weigh the damage Trump sustained from the public bashing and the claims of "suppressing evidence" against the damage by allowing things to continue. Realize that they already had to give every single Senator time to speak. But if they allow testimony, then each of them gets to speak again (in theory to ask questions, but we all know what they'd really use their time for). So we get 2-3 times as much air time spent just bashing some more.

I think that most people agreed that the trial was a joke and so the GOP firmly stating that and shutting it down worked for Trump. If they'd allowed any testimony then it would have given the proceedings legitimacy. What they did said quite clearly that this was a joke and the House was acting in a purely partisan way and should never have done this. I think that message resonates.
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#59 Aug 25 2020 at 7:10 PM Rating: Good
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gbaji wrote:
stupidmonkey wrote:
gbaji wrote:
I do understand this. That's what I've been arguing all along. If no amount of witnesses will change the outcome, why call any?


Because the American People have the final say, come election day, and if witnesses are called, and the American people see that Congress had evidence, and didn't follow through, well, they get to make an INFORMED DECISION at the ballot box, rather than the curated information that was ALLOWED to be presented.


Yup. Hence my assertion that the purpose of the impeachment was not about actually removing Trump from office directly, but to try to influence the outcome of the 2020 election.


Hence my assertion that the purpose of the impeachment was not about actually removiing Trump from office directly, but to try to get the facts in front of the people, and also show the inaction and obstruction being leveraged by the conservatives in congress. Big Brother likes to withhold information.
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#60 Aug 25 2020 at 9:30 PM Rating: Decent
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Gbaji wrote:
I do understand this. That's what I've been arguing all along. If no amount of witnesses will change the outcome, why call any?
You have to remember how this discussion started, determining whether or not calling Bolton would change anything. I said that it wouldn't have changed anything. This isn't based on the utility of what he would have said, but because the Senate already made their decision. Allowing him (or the other people who refused to testify) to testify would have only made it harder for them to stand by their decision.

#61 Sep 02 2020 at 4:02 PM Rating: Decent
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stupidmonkey wrote:
[Hence my assertion that the purpose of the impeachment was not about actually removiing Trump from office directly, but to try to get the facts in front of the people, and also show the inaction and obstruction being leveraged by the conservatives in congress. Big Brother likes to withhold information.


Almalieque wrote:
You have to remember how this discussion started, determining whether or not calling Bolton would change anything. I said that it wouldn't have changed anything. This isn't based on the utility of what he would have said, but because the Senate already made their decision. Allowing him (or the other people who refused to testify) to testify would have only made it harder for them to stand by their decision.


Right. So it wasn't about removing him from office via the impeachment process but influencing the public opinion about Trump (and apparently GOP Senators according to Alma) in the 2020 election. That's what I've been saying all along.

My point is that trying to influence the voters opinion of Trump (and the GOP in general) is the role of the DNC and the Biden campaign. Using the power and authority of their elected posts in such a way is just as much a violation of their oaths as what they claimed Trump was doing. Get it? You're not allowed to use government power and position to influence an election. Period. There's a whole boatload of laws about that. They were obviously trying to skirt around that with a phony impeachment.

If they think that the actions of Trump are sufficiently "bad" that people will vote against him because of them, then just make that argument in your campaign ads. Don't gin up a false impeachment vote to try to do so. But that's what they did, and honestly I think it backfired on them. As I pointed out (not sure if in this thread or another about it), Trumps approval rating went up 5 points during the impeachment process. That's a pretty strong indicator of what the public actually thought about things.

The Dems tried a desperate gambit (cause at the time they thought it was their only chance), and it failed. Spectacularly. Fortunately, they're getting another shot with Covid. Um... They're botching that one up pretty badly as well.

Edited, Sep 2nd 2020 2:31pm by gbaji
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#62 Sep 03 2020 at 7:15 AM Rating: Good
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It's no simp September, bgaji, so you need to cut this **** out.
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#63 Sep 03 2020 at 7:20 AM Rating: Good
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The Dems tried a desperate gambit (cause at the time they thought it was their only chance), and it failed. Spectacularly. Fortunately, they're getting another shot with Covid. Um... They're botching that one up pretty badly as well.
It's not a game. The pres broke the law. It's congress' duty to call it out.

Playing 'gotcha' is no way to run a country. The trickiest, cheatiest, immoralist, peeps will always win - have won.
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#64 Sep 04 2020 at 3:21 PM Rating: Decent
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Elinda wrote:

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The Dems tried a desperate gambit (cause at the time they thought it was their only chance), and it failed. Spectacularly. Fortunately, they're getting another shot with Covid. Um... They're botching that one up pretty badly as well.
It's not a game. The pres broke the law. It's congress' duty to call it out.


And congress has a couple of different ways to do that (censure would have been more appropriate here). Impeachment is the strongest and is only to be used for the most egregious offenses. Trumps actions in this case didn't come remotely close to that level, though.

Quote:
Playing 'gotcha' is no way to run a country.


Correct. The impeachment was a "gotcha" though. Pelosi admitted as much, making comments about how this would forever put an asterisk after Trump's name in the history books. Um... She put that asterisk there though. So it really has no weight at all. She did it just to do it and put it on the record. That's nothing but "gotcha".

Quote:
The trickiest, cheatiest, immoralist, peeps will always win - have won.


Seriously though. Apply that standard to the Dems sometime. They are the worst offenders when it comes to dirty tricks.
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#65 Sep 04 2020 at 6:34 PM Rating: Decent
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Gbaji wrote:
And congress has a couple of different ways to do that (censure would have been more appropriate here). Impeachment is the strongest and is only to be used for the most egregious offenses. Trumps actions in this case didn't come remotely close to that level, though.


Oh, you mean like lying about an marital affair?
#66 Sep 04 2020 at 7:05 PM Rating: Decent
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GBaji wrote:
As I pointed out (not sure if in this thread or another about it), Trumps approval rating went up 5 points during the impeachment process. That's a pretty strong indicator of what the public actually thought about things.


You are really clueless. When President Clinton was impeached, what happened? He became more popular. Everyone expected the same to happen again. Now, let's add this to my previous comment of zero expectation of the GOP Senate removing the President.

You have this backwards, it was not political to impeach, it was political *not* to impeach. There was absolutely *no* indicator of anything beneficial coming from doing the impeachment for Democrats. However, not going through with the impeachment would be political. The best political move would be to have consistent investigations.
#67 Sep 05 2020 at 7:38 AM Rating: Good
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Almalieque wrote:
GBaji wrote:
As I pointed out (not sure if in this thread or another about it), Trumps approval rating went up 5 points during the impeachment process. That's a pretty strong indicator of what the public actually thought about things.


You are really clueless. When President Clinton was impeached, what happened? He became more popular. Everyone expected the same to happen again. Now, let's add this to my previous comment of zero expectation of the GOP Senate removing the President.

You have this backwards, it was not political to impeach, it was political *not* to impeach. There was absolutely *no* indicator of anything beneficial coming from doing the impeachment for Democrats. However, not going through with the impeachment would be political. The best political move would be to have consistent investigations.


My opinion is that the best political move is to do your job, to the best of your abilities, and if impeaching a president for crimes, regardless of wished for outcome, is your job, then you do it.

It would be like having a bunch of evidence of a murder, but not convicting, because the jury is conservative, and you are afraid they won't convict, so you give justice the finger, sit on your hands, and take a paycheck.

But I don't expect gbaji to understand, he is a soulless automaton droid that SHILL's for the fun of it. Can't wait for him to expire like the bad milk he is.
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#68 Sep 05 2020 at 8:34 PM Rating: Decent
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StupidMonkey wrote:
My opinion is that the best political move is to do your job, to the best of your abilities, and if impeaching a president for crimes, regardless of wished for outcome, is your job, then you do it.

It would be like having a bunch of evidence of a murder, but not convicting, because the jury is conservative, and you are afraid they won't convict, so you give justice the finger, sit on your hands, and take a paycheck.

But I don't expect gbaji to understand, he is a soulless automaton droid that SHILL's for the fun of it. Can't wait for him to expire like the bad milk he is.


I'm using the term "political" to mean self serving, not the ethical, right or moral thing.
#69 Sep 06 2020 at 3:39 AM Rating: Good
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I was using it differently, sorry to muddy the waters.

I guess I thought that the best political move would be to do your whole job, so that your constituents would be happy with your performance, and vote for you in future.

Edited, Sep 6th 2020 1:39am by stupidmonkey

Edited, Sep 6th 2020 1:55am by stupidmonkey
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#70 Sep 06 2020 at 8:39 PM Rating: Decent
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Your interpretation is what it should be and probably the initial understanding. However, in normal discourse, the term "political", i.e, "playing politics" usually has a negative connotation.
#71 Sep 08 2020 at 3:36 PM Rating: Decent
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Almalieque wrote:
Gbaji wrote:
And congress has a couple of different ways to do that (censure would have been more appropriate here). Impeachment is the strongest and is only to be used for the most egregious offenses. Trumps actions in this case didn't come remotely close to that level, though.


Oh, you mean like lying about an marital affair?


Yes. I'm not sure what hook you're trying to bait here. I'm on record on this forum (well, if the search function worked and posts from 20ish years ago were still around) that Congress should not have impeached Clinton for that, and should have censured him instead. I've said that many times. Heck. Might have repeated it a couple times in this very thread.

You're barking up the wrong tree here. The fact that the GOP did it wrong back then doesn't somehow make me think that the Dems didn't get it wrong this time. Both can be wrong. Get it?
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#72 Sep 08 2020 at 3:58 PM Rating: Decent
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Almalieque wrote:
You have this backwards, it was not political to impeach, it was political *not* to impeach. There was absolutely *no* indicator of anything beneficial coming from doing the impeachment for Democrats. However, not going through with the impeachment would be political. The best political move would be to have consistent investigations.


I get where you're going with this, but I think you're oversimplifying things. There are multiple political factors involved here. An action which may be politically harmful for the party as a whole may be politically beneficial for the party leadership and many of the members of that same party. Some of these Dems are in districts where their constituents were screaming at them to impeach. Nancy Pelosi doesn't face challenges from the Right, but from the Left. She kinda has to do this sort of thing to keep her seat. Several other Dems are in the same boat. It's entirely possible that if they didn't do this, they would face losing their primaries in the next election, and lose their seat. So even though the party would retain the seat, they would not be sitting in it.

Add to that the issue of leadership (ie: Pelosi) is in charge in terms of committee assignments, which is where the gravy is, and you get a scenario where other members of the party with more moderate constituents may be forced to join in lockstep. They're put in the position where they lose their power or risk their seat. It's a guaranteed short term loss versus a possible longer term risk. They may be willing to take a gamble on that, hoping that if things go poorly, they may poll worse as a party for it, but they can figure out a way to win back their voters by the next election. Remember also that the party leaders control who gets support. So the DNC can withhold campaign funds, or hand it to a primary opponent. That's a lot of leverage to use to get party members to vote for something they may not themselves agree with.

I don't think it's accurate at all to conclude that since the result would negatively impact opinion polling for Dems in general vs Trump, that this means that the only reason to do so must have been because it was "the right thing to do even if it hurts us politically". It could still have very much have been pure politics.

Edited, Sep 8th 2020 2:39pm by gbaji
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#73 Sep 08 2020 at 4:37 PM Rating: Decent
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stupidmonkey wrote:
My opinion is that the best political move is to do your job, to the best of your abilities, and if impeaching a president for crimes, regardless of wished for outcome, is your job, then you do it.


Sure. But it kinda has to actually be crimes that reach the level of impeachment. Trumps alleged crime didn't come close. So while we could speculate a moralistic non-political reason for going forward with it anyway, it's far more likely that this was a political calculation. Given Pelosi's statement immediately after the vote in the house to impeach that this would "forever put an asterisk next to Trump's name in this history books", it's a pretty good bet that was the whole point.

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It would be like having a bunch of evidence of a murder, but not convicting, because the jury is conservative, and you are afraid they won't convict, so you give justice the finger, sit on your hands, and take a paycheck.


Striking out the irrelevant and politically biased part of your analogy, this is something that DAs literally do every single day. It's pretty much their job. The look at the evidence of a case and make a determination as to whether a jury is likely to convict. Then they decide whether to go forward with charges, what charges to go forward with, whether to plea bargain, etc. And yes, how a jury might view the actions in question (regardless of political biases) is going to factor in to that.

As I mentioned earlier, in a regular trial, there are multiple crimes which could be charged, each of which the defendant can be found guilty or not guilty of, and then there are a range of sentence possibilities for each charge. With impeachment, there is only one sentence. So the jury is not just determining whether they think the defendant committed the crime, but also whether the crime merits the one sentence they are allowed to give.

A better analogy is that you live in a criminal justice system where there is only one sentence: execution. Period. You either commit a crime sufficiently bad that you need to be killed for the betterment of society, or you don't. In that sort of system, a DA would not bother to bring a defendant to trial if he committed the equivalent of jaywalking, right? (or would, if we were in a Niven story, but let's pretend that we don't have organ banks pushing this).

Trump's actions are right on the edge of illegality, and only if you assume motivation and future follow up actions which never happened. Sure, we can argue that he should have more clearly separated any investigation into Biden's actions in Ukraine from even the suggestion of being connected to funding to Ukraine, but at the end of the day, Ukraine got their full funding, at the time they were expecting it, and there's no indication that they wouldn't have regardless of the whistle being blown on the situation. The standard for crime being used here could probably be applied to just about any president in our nations history, if you tried really hard.

So no. It wasn't up to standard. And as I pointed out earlier, many GOP senators said as much. That even if Trump was guilty of all three charges the House brought, they simply weren't serious enough offenses to remove the president from office. Now we can pretend that's political as well, but when you look at past actions by presidents that standard has been pretty clear and Trump didn't come close to meeting it.

stupidmonkey wrote:
I was using it differently, sorry to muddy the waters.

I guess I thought that the best political move would be to do your whole job, so that your constituents would be happy with your performance, and vote for you in future.


Correct. And in this case, "doing your job" means voting for impeachment if and only if you believe that the president has both committed a crime *and* that the crime meets the standards required for removal from office.

I think you are both kinda proceeding with the idea that if the House thinks that the president committed any crime at all, that it's their duty to bring impeachment, since that's "the right thing to do", or something. Um... They're capable of making that assessment about whether the alleged crime meets the removal criteria, just as a DA is capable of assessing what a jury is likely to convict on. It was their responsibility to make that assessment, and they clearly didn't do so.

Which leads us back to their being some sort of political reason for doing so. Again, I just can't see how any honest person could look at the charges and say "this is so bad, so horrific, and so representative of a direct harm to our nation if we allow this person to stay in office that we must impeach and remove him". It just doesn't fly.


Edited, Sep 8th 2020 2:53pm by gbaji
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#74 Sep 08 2020 at 4:52 PM Rating: Decent
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And hey. While I'm spamming the forum, I may as well comment on something you said about political actions.

I tend to avoid being cynical about politician doing things "for political reasons". At least when it's the case mentioned where they're doing it because it's what their constituents want. At the end of the day each member of congress represents a group of voters. While we can say they're just doing X or Y in order to win votes, at the end of the day, vote tallies is how we decide if a representative is doing what their voters want. So it's not inherently wrong. If a member of congress gets into office and wants to do something different than what their constituents want (perhaps for personal ethical reasons), it's up to them to sell that to their own voters, or perhaps even bring new voters on board. If they still get the win in the next election, then it was a success. If not, then that's sometimes the danger of doing what you think it right when a majority of the people you represent don't agree with you.

At the end of the day, these people represent a set of voters. And while this process can result in "bad things" happening because the people are wrong (say wanting to keep segregation going in southern districts), and the elected person knows better, it far more often protects us from our politicians doing "bad things" because they know they'll lose re-election if they do. You have to trust that over time, across the districts and states in our system, "good things" will win out over "bad things".
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#75 Sep 08 2020 at 6:20 PM Rating: Good
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gbaji wrote:
They look at the evidence of a case and make a determination as to whether a jury is likely to convict.
And then you take the case to the jury (Senate) and they refuse to hear any witnesses.

Justice!!
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#76 Sep 08 2020 at 9:22 PM Rating: Good
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gbaji wrote:
stupidmonkey wrote:
I guess I thought that the best political move would be to do your whole job, so that your constituents would be happy with your performance, and vote for you in future.


Correct. And in this case, "doing your job" means voting for impeachment if and only if you believe that the president has both committed a crime *and* that the crime meets the standards required for removal from office.


Why am I not surprised that you completely missed the point.

Oh, right, cause your an idiot that I wish would an hero.
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