Sunday Commentary: The Impeachment Gambit

(Photo by Shay Horse/NurPhoto via Getty Images)

By David M. Greenwald

I keep seeing conservatives and Trumpists proclaiming that Nancy Pelosi lost again.  And while I understand the desire to see these things in terms of wins and losses, I think it is largely the wrong way to approach it.

The problem with viewing this through the lens of win/loss is that the outcome here was never in real doubt.  The only question was how many Republican Senators would break ranks—the answer turned out to be seven.

So if the ultimate goal here was not to remove him from office or really to prevent him from running again, what exactly was the goal?  Here I think there was a multilevel game going on.  Pelosi recognized that she had Republicans between a rock and a hard place and was not about to give up her advantage.

At the first and most basic level is accountability.  If what Trump did really from November 4 up to January 6 is not impeachable, I don’t know what is.  He repeatedly falsely yelled fire in a crowded theater by claiming massive electoral fraud, and then attempted to convince various legislators and officials to effectively overturn the election—ultimately getting his base so fired up they initiated a lynch mob that invaded the Capitol.

There is considerable question about whether he will face criminal charges, not just in Washington but also in Georgia, where he seemingly attempted to coerce officials into lawbreaking—and there is a criminal investigation underway in Fulton County.

Unlike the first impeachment, there was really no doubt here about what happened or what the president did.  While I tend to think that Trump committed impeachable acts the first time with Ukrainian officials, I never felt like they had a true smoking gun.

I do find it interesting that some of the same Republicans who thought that President Clinton had committed acts that required his removal by committing perjury in a civil court testimony did not think this was impeachable or removable.

Be that as it may, the result here is actually quite impressive.  The history of impeachments—we have now three presidents, impeached four times.  Nixon’s was the only one that probably would have succeeded, but he resigned before it could.  The others were surprisingly partisan campaigns, and the framers of the Constitution were wise to force the removal vote to be bipartisan (unless one party controlled two thirds of the Senate).

The fact that more members of the opposition party supported impeachment and removal I think is important.  But so too was the 48-0 vote among Democratic Senators (plus Bernie Sanders and Angus King of Maine, the two Independents).  

The party that was rarely united was exactly that, on the need to impeach and remove Trump.  House Democrats voted 222-0 to impeach and Senate Democrats 48-0 to remove.

I wouldn’t have thought that possible.

The canary in the coal mine here—an appropriate analogy given where he is from—is Joe Manchin of West Virginia.  He is the most conservative member of the Senate Democratic delegation.  There have been times when there has been speculation that he would change to Republican.  And yet he voted to remove.

In a statement he said, “Today I voted guilty on the articles of impeachment brought against former President Trump to hold him accountable for his seditious actions and words that threatened our democracy. It is time to move forward as one nation to focus on helping Americans suffering from the pandemic. Now more than ever, it is on each of us to seek unity over division and put partisanship aside for the good of our country.”

It doesn’t give us a lot to go on other than he was not shy to call the President’s actions “seditious” and see the threat they posed to “our democracy.”

So I think a good portion of the impeachment vote here is that, after what happened on January 6, many simply saw it as not only the right thing to do, but felt it would be irresponsible not to do so.

But like anything there is a second level to this game—there is political payoff.  Or at least perceived political payoff.  How much of a payoff is hard to tell in such a divided and polarized nation, where the number of actual swing voters is fairly low and competitive states and districts are just as low.

But, yeah, following a stronger than expected showing by the President on November 3, his actions since brought him to the lowest watermark of his presidency in terms of public approval—and while even at the end 70 to 80 percent of Republicans approved of him, that too was at a low point.

But I think that is precisely the point.  Pelosi forced Republicans to make a calculation—is it better to stick with the President knowing you will have to face angry primary voters if you don’t, or to hold the President accountable for his actions?

In the end all but 17 Republicans in both chambers stuck with the President.  We have already seen realignment occurring under Trump—really trends exacerbated with rural voters continuing to leave the Democrats and suburban voters leaving the Republicans.

The New York Times this week in an analysis of 25 states with available data by party registration found that 140,000 Republicans had quit their party versus 79,000 Democrats, almost a two to one ratio.

The Times concluded: “But the tumult at the Capitol, and the historic unpopularity of former President Donald J. Trump, have made for an intensely fluid period in American politics.”

How permanent will this be?  We can perhaps look to Watergate where the 1974 elections brought huge surges of Democrats following a narrow Democratic Presidential victory in 1976.  To illustrate the impact there, understand that between 1968 and 1988, Republicans won five of six elections, with four of those being electoral blowouts, not competitive at all.

But Watergate represented what was really a blip in Republican electoral strength that eventually saw them, by 1994, taking both houses of the legislature.

While you can argue that the Republicans ultimately turned on Nixon and would have held him accountable, here most Republicans did not.  Will that have an impact on the voter’s assessment of the party?

The history of Trump and his hold on the Republicans is worth watching.  Personally, watching Mitch McConnell was telling.  He has tried to skirt that line—he supported Trump’s reelection, was willing to entertain the fraud claims, then eventually he said enough and condemned his actions, but ultimately voted to acquit—feigning technical grounds.

Say what you will about McConnell, he understands politics but also institutions and saw this as the best path forward for his party—protect the institution of the Senate and perhaps democracy, but he failed to ultimately hold the President accountable for his actions.

Pelosi up to this point forced Republicans to in effect go on the record.  A key question is whether her gambit will work.  That remains to be seen.  The same forces that were at work before, remain at work now.  Both parties are much more insulated from actual consequences now—the Republicans far more so than Democrats.

—David M. Greenwald reporting

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About The Author

David Greenwald is the founder, editor, and executive director of the Davis Vanguard. He founded the Vanguard in 2006. David Greenwald moved to Davis in 1996 to attend Graduate School at UC Davis in Political Science. He lives in South Davis with his wife Cecilia Escamilla Greenwald and three children.

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74 thoughts on “Sunday Commentary: The Impeachment Gambit”

  1. Keith Olsen

    140,000 Republicans had quit their party versus 79,000 Democrats

    I just got a new Real ID from CA.  I changed my party affiliation from Republican to non declared while doing so.  I’m still voting Republican for the most part as there are few Democrats worthy of my vote.  So don’t go thinking that 140,000 Republicans have quit their party as I’m sure most will still vote that way.

    1. Alan Miller

      I quit the Dem party 35 years ago, and vote all over the map.  I will probably never join a party again; at least not until choice voting allows a real party to emerge beyond the Democans & Republicrats.  The Common Sense Party seems hopeful, but it’s led by two ancient men and needs the common sense of younger generational Centrists as well.  And it’s doomed without choice voting, and so therefore are we all.

  2. Keith Olsen

    So all the Democrats have proved is if you have the House majority and you can keep your members in line any party can impeach a President for almost anything they happen to find offensive.

    1. Richard_McCann

      Given the rising power of the executive that has led to a severe imbalance in our republic, making impeachment easier could be a benefit that improves accountability.

      1. Keith Olsen

        Maybe when the GOP takes back the House they can play the same games.  Since Democrats feel it’s okay to impeach presidents after they’ve left office who knows how far the GOP can go back.

  3. Chris Griffith

    The New York Times this week in an analysis of 25 states with available data by party registration found that 140,000 Republicans had quit their party versus 79,000 Democrats, almost a two to one ratio.

    I researched this story on the internet a little bit and there’s a lot of stories about this subject and some of them are a couple of weeks old. I question the accuracy and the speed the information that was collected.

    the state of California can’t even collect accurate unemployment information and that’s kind of important how can we expect States to vomit out information about the voters party affiliation

  4. Chris Griffith

    And besides even mentioning information was given to you from the New York times is enough to distrust the the information The Babylon bee in my view is a better news source in the New York times

    1. Richard_McCann

      What is a reliable source? We know that Fox News incorrectly reported the discovery of WMDs for an extended period and that surveys consistently show that Fox viewers are the least well informed audience about basic facts.

  5. Don Shor

    “The people who stormed this building believed they were acting on the wishes and instructions of their president and having that belief was a foreseeable consequence of the growing crescendo of false statements, conspiracy theories and reckless hyperbole, which the defeated president kept shouting into the largest megaphone on planet earth. A mob was assaulting a Capitol in his name. These criminals were carrying his banners, hanging his flags and screaming their loyalty to him. There’s no question, none, that President Trump is practically and morally responsible for provoking the events of the day.”

    — Mitch McConnell

    The House managers proved beyond a shadow of a doubt that Trump’s behavior between election day and the Jan. 6 over-running of the Capitol had a direct causal relationship. Even the Republican senators largely agreed with that assessment. They framed their votes for acquittal on narrow grounds: that you can’t convict a president who is already out of office. It sets a terrible precedent, and makes the Republican Party largely complicit in an historic act of domestic terror.

    The actions of state Republican parties to censure the few legislators who voted their consciences shows that the Republican Party stands for nothing and has simply become a cult of personality.

    Trump’s legal problems are just beginning. His supporters will no doubt claim that he is being persecuted and will disregard his flagrantly illegal acts as state attorneys general begin to indict him for financial crimes and for attempted interference in state electoral certifications. That’s how personality cults work.

    He has done immeasurable damage to the Republican Party. What all of this has proven clearly is that they can’t win the presidency by the popular vote, and that they would use any means to hang on to power — even advocating for the disenfranchisement of millions of voters simply to tip the electoral college.

    Because he chose not to resign, and the 25th Amendment was not implemented, there was no other choice but to impeach him, regardless of the outcome. The House managers did a very skillful job. There are a few Republicans who have actual standards of civic behavior. Their future in their own party is in question. But failure to impeach would have left Trump’s behavior unanswered at the highest level of government, and that simply wasn’t an option.

    1. Keith Olsen

      The actions of state Republican parties to censure the few legislators who voted their consciences shows that the Republican Party stands for nothing and has simply become a cult of personality.

      Speaking of cults, not one Democrat dared to cross their cult.

      1. Chris Griffith

        Mr Don

        The unedited version of US history is going to view Donald Trump is a very good president there’s going to be battleships named after this guy even aircraft carriers and I wouldn’t be surprised if the space force isn’t renamed Trump Force

      2. Don Shor

        “I know you are but what am I” is really all you’ve got on any topic. This isn’t 2nd Grade. Trump’s actions were reprehensible, dangerous, and illegal, and I have yet to hear you denounce them.

        1. Keith Olsen

          I have yet to hear you denounce the inciting comments made by several Democrats over the last few years as were pointed out by the Trump defense lawyers.  So how’s that for  “I know you are but what am I”?

        2. Ron Oertel

          Trump’s actions were reprehensible, dangerous, and illegal, and I have yet to hear you denounce them.

          Translation:  “Say what I think you should say, or I will claim that you have no credibility.”

          This isn’t 2nd Grade.


          1. Don Shor

            Trump spent years falsely attacking the credibility of our electoral process.
            After the election he refused to concede and has yet to officially do so.
            As the results were being certified, he sought to directly interfere with the electors and the state officials charged with that process.
            He egged on his mob of supporters and watched with glee as they ransacked the Capitol, even as he was aware that the Speaker, the senators and representatives, and the Vice President were being evacuated because their lives were in danger.
            He refused to authorize the National Guard to assist the Capitol police who were being beaten, crushed, and killed.
            He told the perpetrators of the attack “we love you.”
            To this day he asserts the election was stolen, even though he lost by over 7 million votes and all the electoral college votes were certified by officials of both parties and all of his legal challenges failed.
            He raised millions of dollars off of this and has siphoned those monies off to his own personal use.
            There is no comparison to the campaign rhetoric of candidates urging their supporters to ‘fight’ for their causes. There is no context in which that is a valid comparison.

          1. Don Shor

            “Proof please…”

            At 2:26 p.m., after Mr. Pence had been whisked away, a call was placed from the White House to Senator Mike Lee, Republican of Utah, according to call logs that the senator provided during the impeachment proceedings.

            The president had made the call, but he was actually looking for Senator Tommy Tuberville, Republican of Alabama. Mr. Lee gave the phone to Mr. Tuberville, who has told reporters that he informed Mr. Trump that Mr. Pence had just been escorted out as the mob got closer to the Senate chamber.

            “I said, ‘Mr. President, they just took the vice president out, I’ve got to go,’” Mr. Tuberville recounted to Politico.

            This was a significant new piece of information. House prosecutors used it to argue that Mr. Trump was clearly aware that the vice president was in danger and that he had a callous disregard for Mr. Pence’s safety. On Friday, Mr. Trump’s defense team had insisted that Mr. Trump was not aware of any peril facing Mr. Pence.

            Back at the White House, advisers were trying to get Mr. Trump to do something, but he rebuffed calls to intercede, including those from people wanting to see the National Guard deployed. The president, several advisers said, was expressing pleasure that the vote to certify Mr. Biden’s win had been delayed and that people were fighting for him.

            “According to public reports, he watched television happily — happily — as the chaos unfolded,” Mr. McConnell said on Saturday. “He kept pressing his scheme to overturn the election. Even after it was clear to any reasonable observer that Vice President Pence was in serious danger, even as the mob carrying Trump banners was beating cops and breaching perimeters, the president sent a further tweet attacking his own vice president.”


            You ok with his refusal to call the National Guard while Capitol police were being beaten, crushed, and killed?

        3. Richard_McCann

          Proof from Trump himself on January 6. There is nothing clearer or conclusive than this statement from his Twitter feed:




      3. Richard_McCann

        Cults don’t produce better economic performance. That Democratic administrations outperform Republican ones has been noted for a couple of decades, and again, here’s one of many articles on this fact:

  6. Ron Glick

    Nancy Pelosi is the leader of the United States House of Representatives. Donald Trump is a disgraced, loser, former President, facing a multitude of problems, both legal and financial.  As Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy said to Trump “Who the F… do you think you are talking to?” Pelosi wouldn’t even bother to talk to Trump at all.

    History will not be kind to Trump. He will be reviled as a one term, twice impeached, President, whose party lost the executive branch and the majority of both houses of congress on his watch. There will be even fewer monuments to Trump than there are to Nixon. The Trump Library will be known for not having any books that Trump had read and for being the only Presidential Library to have a grift shop.

    History will be much kinder to Nancy Pelosi, the first woman to serve as Speaker of the House and under her leadership passed a monumental piece of healthcare legislation that had eluded even FDR.

  7. Chris Griffith

    You make reference to how many books Trump is read how do you know how the amount of books Trump is read? As far as gift shops I’ve been to a few presidential libraries and they all have gift shops.
    you make reference to a capital policeman that was killed maybe you’ve seen me autopsy report but I haven’t yet so where do you get the part where he was killed 
    my humble opinion
    If there was blunt force trauma or a shotgun blast of the body it would have been obvious and there would have been witnesses and someone would have been charged. They are fishing to find something to say he died from the incident. I believe over time this one’s going to turn out to be a b******* story
    But that’s just my opinion of course

    1. Keith Olsen

      They’re saying that the officer didn’t die from blunt force trauma, they think it was a heart attack as a result of breathing in all the tear gas and other chemicals/smoke.  He didn’t get smashed by a fire extinguisher, that was all Democrat propaganda.

      1. Don Shor

        About 60 Washington, D.C., law enforcement officers and an unknown number of Capitol Police officers were hurt in the hourslong assault on the Capitol, according to the Washington Post. One officer was hit with a bat, another was struck with a flagpole, and another officer was beaten with clubs until fellow officers rescued him, police said.

        Another got wedged between two doors in a Capitol vestibule, where he screamed in pain as rioters tried to get the gas mask around his head off, a different officer suffered an apparent heart attack after someone used a stun gun on him six times, and a third lost the tip of his right index finger.

        You ok with this, Keith?

        1. Alan Miller

          y’all sure do like to say what KO and others will “do” or imply things, but that is never borne out.  It’s like you’ve created some cartoon (perhaps a mix of Barack and Palin) that isn’t real, but the cartoon just lets you keep on believing whatever you want to believe the cartoon is.  Keep on keepin’ on . . .

        2. Richard_McCann


          How the officer died isn’t relevant so long as the cause is traced to the riot which was caused by Trump’s actions. I don’t see any of us defending the individuals in the other violent events that they should go free and be blameless, or that there’s some sort of moral equivalency between events. By your reasoning, we should just stop law enforcement entirely because it’s not possible to do it in a manner that meets the political requirements of both sides.

          Instead, you could start a different conversation by taking the first step toward admitting that this cult leader made egregious statements that led to tragedy and discord and that he must be severely punished. But right now demanding that you will only act if the other side completely capitulates to your requirements will go no where and only perpetuates the divide.

      1. Chris Griffith

        Can anyone provide me with a list of how many pistols rifles machine guns machetes or thermonuclear weapons that were used at the protest at the capital?

        If the capital police and the secret service truly wanted to put down this protest they could have done it in a matter of minutes but they just simply chose not to

        1. Bill Marshall

          There was no nukes… wisely, VP urged the Pentagon to suspend the ‘Nuclear codes’ account that the Donald had… Twitter followed suit, as to suspending the Donald’s account…

          The 25th amendment may have actually been invoked, informally… Pence ‘manned up’, and took actions, like calling out the Nat’l Guard, normally reserved to the prez…

        2. Chris Griffith

          Mr Marshall

          With your imagination and my imagination we should get together and write a movie for Netflix what do you think I think it’d be a Blockbuster I think it would be a thriller and a comedy all rolled into one.

        3. Richard_McCann

          The Capitol Police were overwhelmed, and all of the other federal resources are under direct control of the President. The House Impeachment Managers made it very clear what was happening during the event and the reason for the delay in action. So “they” was Donald Trump, and he showed his pleasure with what happened in his Jan 6 tweet at 6:01 pm EST.

  8. Chris Griffith

    So you have 300 or 400 people go to the Capitol building with some sticks and some plastic Shields and they call that an insurrection I call that a peaceful protest.

    If you’re going to have true insurrection I think you have to bring on the machine guns machetes then you got a true insurrection.🤗

    The only reason why this subject is being brought to the forefront is because that protest got brought into their fishbowl plain and simple

    To find anything that  remotely looks like insurrections it would be Portland or Seattle where they took over large portions of cities and had  semi-automatic weapons where people burned and vandalized things and even kill people with pistols and rifles this is not what happened at the capital this is where the anointed ones fell threatened by the little people.

    1. Bill Marshall

       I call that a peaceful protest.

      Guess you were’nt watching real time TV that day, or figured even the Fox videos were “fake news”… can’t see how anyone not on drugs, not sociopathic, or ‘four sheets to the wind’, would call the Jan 6 events at the Capitol “peaceful protest”… whatever…

    2. Richard_McCann

      There were an estimated 800 inside the Capitol.

      But there thousands more outside trying to get in as well that the Capitol Police had to restrain as well.

      That the crowd didn’t understand what it would take for an insurrection doesn’t mean that they weren’t insincere in their effort. It’s hard to believe that the conspiracists who planned to kidnap the Michigan governor thought that they could otherthrow the state government, but that’s what they did. Being an insurrectionist doesn’t mean that one has thought it all through.

      1. Ron Oertel

        Being an insurrectionist doesn’t mean that one has thought it all through.

        Just found that amusing.

        I would think that if the word “successful” was added somewhere in there, thinking it through would be a “requirement”.

        Conversely, that descriptor would also have prevented the “success” of the Three Stooges, Laurel and Hardy, etc. Though I don’t remember any insurrectionist plots in those films.

        1. Richard_McCann

          I would think that if the word “successful” was added somewhere in there, thinking it through would be a “requirement”.

          But “successful” wasn’t in Chris’ comment, and it wasn’t clear how the insurrectionists were defining “success” except in terms of somehow disrupting the Electoral College vote. That the mob didn’t seem to really fully understand their high school civics classes isn’t surprising. And yes it’s amusing in a sad way to see how that group really didn’t understand the situation and acted so naively.

        2. Ron Oertel

          The “gallows” itself seems to reflect a lack of basic carpentry skills.

          The only guy that I had any “faith” in (regarding potential “success” beyond disruption) is the (zip) tie-guy.

          (Not to be confused with Sacramento’s pie-guy.)

          Now, if all of the politicians were as tough as Kevin Johnson, there wouldn’t be any problem.

        3. Ron Glick

          “The only guy that I had any “faith” in (regarding potential “success” beyond disruption) is the (zip) tie-guy.”

          A truly disgusting attempt at humor.

        4. Ron Oertel

          Other than the few casualties (some of which don’t appear to be purposeful), I don’t view the incident as seriously as some do.

          I view it as a violent protest, much the same as any other that we’ve seen.  With the primary difference being that it was directed at those who are normally insulated from it (and whom some apparently believe are at the root of some of the political problems in this country).

        5. Ron Oertel

          Keith:  That is why the impeachment trial didn’t seem to generate as much interest as some apparently hoped.

          Ultimately, “normal” people aren’t that interested in it, as they see no real consequence or benefit (either way).

          Ron G. – I’d say, “six” is too many. “Five” is “o.k.”. (Sarcasm intended.) And yes, I did stop beating my significant other.

          But really, you ought to ask that question of a particular UCD professor, from what I recall (as reported). Not sure if that professor is still there.

          And/or, maybe some of the protestors on the “other side”.

        6. Ron Oertel

          I agree.  Or perhaps, “institutional” responsibility – in the case of UCD. Though I’m not sure what their rules actually are, regarding that type of thing.

          Certainly, a lot more “freedom” than just about any other employment setting.

        7. Richard_McCann

          Other than the few casualties (some of which don’t appear to be purposeful), I don’t view the incident as seriously as some do.

          I view it as a violent protest, much the same as any other that we’ve seen.  With the primary difference being that it was directed at those who are normally insulated from it (and whom some apparently believe are at the root of some of the political problems in this country).

          No one died when the Reichstag was burned in 1933 either. If you can’t see the significance and the magnitude of this event, then I can also can see why you misjudge so many other political events and trends. So many in Germany dismissed the significance of the events in 1933, and you are making the same mistake.


  9. Ron Glick

    I love how some who condemn violence in Portland or anywhere else are so quick to rationalize it at the Capitol. Having opposed it everywhere I hold the moral high ground and point out the hypocrisy of the forces of equivocation.

    1. Alan Miller

      Is that how you see it?  I take it is as “some”, as you put it, are pointing out the hypocrisy of not previously condemning the “violence in Portland and anywhere else”.   You don’t think seeing people partially getting away with and being excused for violence didn’t fear and inflame the right-wing loonies?

      1. Keith Olsen

         You don’t think seeing people partially getting away with and being excused for violence didn’t fear and inflame the right-wing loonies?

        Exactly… Antifa, BLM and the left wing rioters and the lack of them being held accountable opened the door for others to think it was okay.

        1. Alan Miller

          I would say even more that, along with the polarizing media where people get fed a jet-propelled backwash of their own B.S., be it right or left, the violence scared people into believing that they were under threat.  That caused people to behave erratically and violently, especially those who were lightly tethered to reality.  Trump fanned the flames of the fringes, I doubt believing that fanning the flames with a flamethrower in hurricane winds could cause a firestorm.  But he’d be wrong about that.

        2. Richard_McCann

          Given that the rise in political violence in this nation is coming from the right, not the left, and really accelerated in 2017 with Trump’s election, we all know who needs to take the first, and last, step of condemning political violence. (I can send you an onslaught of sources showing this fact, including the federal government’s count of white supremacist groups.) Here’s the most recent compilation:

  10. Chris Griffith

    There is one subject that comes out of this and its is very important which should be discussed and that is free speech and banning people from Twitter Facebook parler and etc. When we limit access to groups like antifa black lives matter even the Donald Trump supporters what happens is we also limit the ability of law enforcement from the FBI to our local police to monitor these groups and understand what they’re doing and monitor their movements when you splinter these groups and drive them underground it’s harder for law enforcement to track these people and I think that’s very important because we never know what kind of a village idiot we really have out there somewhere that could really do harm to the United States.

    1. Alan Miller

      I don’t think you’re helping (not that that’s your goal).  I agree with your point, to a point, at least that it’s a valid point, but lumping black lives matter in with Antifa doesn’t help, maybe fringe BLM and antifa, but you say black lives matter like that and you alienate all those who merely support the cause.  Similarly, you say “Donald Trump Supporters” which is exactly the same problem lumping the Capitol loonies and those like them with the entirety of those who voted for Trump.  Both sides so this purposefully and to the detriment of the country.  You just did it here, and I’d say it undermined your point.

        1. Bill Marshall

          Jose… I think what Alan M, and Keith O are saying is, “don’t tell me what I can, or cannot, posit”… you can add me to that list, if I am correct… we should owe the same to you, except when you try to tell us what we can or cannot posit… I will make my own judgements, even when I disagree with others, as best I can… far from perfect…

    2. Richard_McCann

      Actually, we did a very good job of driving the KKK and other white supremacist groups underground in the 1970s and 1980s. The level of political violence subsided greatly. Then Lee Atwater, Paul Manafort and other GOP campaign consultants and began a wink-wink campaign to allow these groups to arise again and to organize to benefit of GOP candidates. Atwater et al found that appealing to the emotional base and throwing away true leadership made them rich.

      Socially shaming abhorrent behavior is part of a developing civilization. That’s how we got rid of blatant beating of women in marriages and even slavery. Anarchists have this all wrong–we are social creatures who need to maintain our norms to remain peaceful.

  11. Bill Marshall

    along with the polarizing media where people get fed a jet-propelled backwash of their own B.S.

    I hope you didn’t copyright that phrase, as I can see where it would be great for me to ‘borrow’ in the future…

    the violence scared people into believing that they were under threat.

    Another ‘goodie’ to which I’d add, “people who believe they are under threat, and scared, can easily turn to violence to ‘protect’ themselves.”  Two edges of the same sword.

    Think we have seen a lot of brandishment of that sword, from Ferguson, to Portland, Seattle, and Washington DC.  And elsewhere… recently, and throughout history… we need more plowshares…

  12. Bill Marshall

    So much for personal responsibility. I remember when that was a conservative value.

    Also for most moderates and a lot of liberals…  but, that was then… at least one “faux conservative”, considered by some as a leader of ‘conservatives’, has completely rejected that concept… yet ‘his “conservative” base’ apparently believes he had none (personal responsibility… 43 of them, in particular)… all a ‘conspiracy’ by “others”…

    To my regret, have some extended family folk who believe his tripe… except as it applies to others… some folk have to take “personal responsibility” and have the ‘force of law’ used to ensure that… just not for their “tribe”… the force of the Q (STNG reference, only)…


  13. Ron Glick

    There is another important thing that might be a consequence of this impeachment. Trump didn’t pardon any of the participants on his way out the door. Many of them now feel betrayed by Trump. All I can say to that is to repeat that famous P.T. Barnum line “There is a sucker born every minute.”

    Be that as it may Trump used the pardon like a personal get out of jail free card for some of the most despicable gallery of rogues the country has ever convicted or indicted. Yet he left all these people he incited to fend for themselves against the reinvigorated United States Justice Department. Some of these people are going to get serious time. Many of them are already sitting in jail while Trump sends out statements of vindication while teasing a return to power like some sort of real life Voldemort. I’m sure his fundraising letter will be following shortly.

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