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Tags donald trump , impeachment , Mitch McConnell , partisanship , partisanship charges , partisanship issues , Trump impeachment

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Old 13th December 2019, 12:13 PM   #81
Giordano
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I fully expected the Republican-held Senate to do whatever possible in their "consideration" of impeachment to minimize the visibility and possible negative impacts on Trump. I fully expected many of these efforts to be outrageous, unpatriotic, and despicable, as already demonstrated by the public statements by much of the Republican leadership and by the actions of the Republican Representatives on the House committee. But making a proud and enthusiastic public statement that they are closely coordinating their roles as members of the jury with Trump, the accused, is just beyond the pale...
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Old 13th December 2019, 12:13 PM   #82
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Originally Posted by Belz... View Post
How about Congress recuse itself? : rolleyes :
Now we're talking!

Actually I'm not all that concerned about recusal. Like I said in the other thread:

Originally Posted by theprestige View Post
It's conflicts of interest all the way down. The real question is, where is it reasonable to draw the line?

I think the line is drawn reasonably at the moment. The President of the Senate casts tie-breaker votes. The President of the Senate is normally the Vice President. In an impeachment of the President or the Vice President, he could literally end up in a position where he's voting himself into the presidency, or voting himself out of removal from office. So it makes a lot of sense to not have him voting on those specific impeachment questions. Hence the Chief Justice as a stand-in for the role of President of the Senate.

In our hypothetical Pelosi case, yes she's pushing to make herself president, and yes that's a conflict of interest, but the vote on that question is up to other people.

And while the chief justice could conceivably vote to keep his benefactor from being removed, that's a much lesser degree of conflict than voting himself into the presidency.
If you're concerned about conflicts of interest, and you don't like where the Constitution has drawn the line, then where do you think the line should be drawn, and why?

On the other hand, if you agree with me that the Constitution draws the line in probably the best place, then we can put the matter to bed.
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Old 13th December 2019, 12:17 PM   #83
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The line can be drawn at the place where the public starts trusting the person in question again and don't have to be defined or hand-wrung over to any level beyond that.
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Old 13th December 2019, 12:22 PM   #84
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Originally Posted by Giordano View Post
I fully expected the Republican-held Senate to do whatever possible in their "consideration" of impeachment to minimize the visibility and possible negative impacts on Trump. I fully expected many of these efforts to be outrageous, unpatriotic, and despicable, as already demonstrated by the public statements by much of the Republican leadership and by the actions of the Republican Representatives on the House committee. But making a proud and enthusiastic public statement that they are closely coordinating their roles as members of the jury with Trump, the accused, is just beyond the pale...
Exactly. While we all know that there are people who will accept anything their team does, this action is a huge risk with seemingly no upside. All it can do is harden the will of the opposition and potentially make others wonder if their team is any good at all.
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Old 13th December 2019, 12:24 PM   #85
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Originally Posted by JoeMorgue View Post
Can any concept of "Separation/Balance of Power"/"Checks and Balances" not fall victim to the "Powers" forming unofficial groups outside the separation?

It certainly seems to me like "We're gonna form a club and just not go after people in our club" counters any possible "Separation of Power" anyone could put on the table.
It seems to me that the main problems are a) that most of the checks and balances being enacted by politicians, b) those that are not enacteed by politicians being enacted by political appointees.

The UK system is far from perfect, but the House of Lords are not elected politicians and are appointed by an independent commission (although some are recommended appointments, with the recommendations made by parties), and the Supreme Court who are (like all UK judges) not political appointees and not themselves politicians. And then, of course, if things get really, really far, then there's the Queen whose role is almost - but not quite entirely ceremonial. There were serious questions very recently about whether she'd have to wield the power to remove a Prime Minister, and how legal that would actually be, but the constitution didn't end up being tested like that in the end.

As I say, it's far from perfect, but it was tested very recently when Boris Johnson unlawfully tried to prorogue parliament and was very quickly and decisively slapped down by the Supreme Court. In other words, it seems to work better than the US system, mainly because no UK political party can stack either the House of Lords or the Supreme Court with partisans. Therefore those bodies, nominally at least, remain independent of party politics.

Or, to put it another way, the Supreme Court didn't slap Johnson down because they were opposed to him personally, but because what he did was unlawful. And they didn't do it quickly because that served anybody's agenda, but because the issue at hand was extremely time-sensitive.

There are unquestionably flaws in the system (just one of which is that it's likely that now Johnson has formed a majority government he's going to curtail the power of the Supreme Court out of revenge), but I think there's evidence that it's more effective than the US system which, as you've observed, is proving fairly ineffective once people decide they're no longer obeying the gentleperson's agreement to play fair.
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Old 13th December 2019, 12:26 PM   #86
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Originally Posted by Giordano View Post
But making a proud and enthusiastic public statement that they are closely coordinating their roles as members of the jury with Trump, the accused, is just beyond the pale...
Yes, I think everybody expected that to happen behind closed doors. Publicly acknowledging it just seems like crowing that their power really is unchecked.
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Old 13th December 2019, 12:38 PM   #87
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Originally Posted by JoeMorgue View Post
You can't use the "Oh but history is going to harshly judge you" argument against people who aggressively don't care that the Earth is going to be a burned out cinder in a few generations.
Or who would actually welcome an apocalyptic conflagration.

It's also a sign of optimism from folks who think civilization is going to collapse in the next couple of generations due to climate change and related disasters and upheavals.
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Old 13th December 2019, 12:40 PM   #88
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Originally Posted by Squeegee Beckenheim View Post
Yes, I think everybody expected that to happen behind closed doors. Publicly acknowledging it just seems like crowing that their power really is unchecked.
I think its more like signally to Trump's base that they are on his side. Trump is much more popular than any other republican. They need to suck up to him in order to suck up to their base.

Shouldn't have done it for sure, I do think it probably helps McConnel though. Its not like he's going to get the vote of any of the anti-trumpers. There really isn't much down side for him on this.
Originally Posted by Squeegee Beckenheim View Post

The UK system is far from perfect, but the House of Lords are not elected politicians and are appointed by an independent commission (although some are recommended appointments, with the recommendations made by parties), and the Supreme Court who are (like all UK judges) not political appointees and not themselves politicians. And then, of course, if things get really, really far, then there's the Queen whose role is almost - but not quite entirely ceremonial. There were serious questions very recently about whether she'd have to wield the power to remove a Prime Minister, and how legal that would actually be, but the constitution didn't end up being tested like that in the end.

As I say, it's far from perfect, but it was tested very recently when Boris Johnson unlawfully tried to prorogue parliament and was very quickly and decisively slapped down by the Supreme Court. In other words, it seems to work better than the US system, mainly because no UK political party can stack either the House of Lords or the Supreme Court with partisans. Therefore those bodies, nominally at least, remain independent of party politics.
.
Mildly amusing, that's closer to the US Senate as originally conceived was selected. Senators were appointed by the State governments rather than elected. There is an strong argument that what is currently wrong with US democracy could improved with less democracy.

If the Party leadership still selected the president at the convention instead of via primaries there would be no Trump. The Senate would be more independent of masses and freer to vote against trump too.

Last edited by ahhell; 13th December 2019 at 12:46 PM.
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Old 13th December 2019, 12:59 PM   #89
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Originally Posted by Giordano View Post
I fully expected the Republican-held Senate to do whatever possible in their "consideration" of impeachment to minimize the visibility and possible negative impacts on Trump
Only I wonder: By doing this they would also minimize their own visibility. Look at how arguments are droning on in the House. It might be a different dynamic there but I suspect some senators are going to want to grandstand as well.

I know the circumstances are much different though.

One of the senators in my state will be very vulnerable if perceived as a total toady for Trump.
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Old 13th December 2019, 01:02 PM   #90
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What are the chances Moscow Mitch won't be re-elected? Do his actions in the impeachment trial affect things either way? I know that Kentucky is considered solid red by the pundits, but is it really that monolithic?

Last edited by DallasDad; 13th December 2019 at 01:05 PM.
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Old 13th December 2019, 01:27 PM   #91
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Originally Posted by JoeMorgue View Post
It certainly seems to me like "We're gonna form a club and just not go after people in our club" counters any possible "Separation of Power" anyone could put on the table.


It's a known problem in security systems that the greatest flaw in any system is in the people entrusted with ensuring security. If they are lazy, incompetent or corrupt, no system will work, no matter how well-designed it is in theory.

Checks and balances are probably the best way we have to overcome this problem, because it requires multiple people to be lazy, incompetent or corrupt, but as we're seeing here, it still can fail, if enough people are lazy, incompetent or corrupt.
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Old 13th December 2019, 01:30 PM   #92
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Originally Posted by DallasDad View Post
What are the chances Moscow Mitch won't be re-elected? Do his actions in the impeachment trial affect things either way? I know that Kentucky is considered solid red by the pundits, but is it really that monolithic?
Pretty on the edge. He was elected 56-41% in 2014 and it's hard to get a firm feel for how the last few years will effect his image with the voters.

Sadly, I lean toward him getting relected in 2020.
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Old 13th December 2019, 01:31 PM   #93
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Originally Posted by Horatius View Post
Checks and balances are probably the best way we have to overcome this problem, because it requires multiple people to be lazy, incompetent or corrupt, but as we're seeing here, it still can fail, if enough people are lazy, incompetent or AND corrupt.
Forgive my impertinence, but FTFY.
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Old 13th December 2019, 01:32 PM   #94
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Originally Posted by DallasDad View Post
What are the chances Moscow Mitch won't be re-elected? Do his actions in the impeachment trial affect things either way? I know that Kentucky is considered solid red by the pundits, but is it really that monolithic?
His approval numbers are pretty low, but I'm not sure how that affects votes.
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Old 13th December 2019, 01:34 PM   #95
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Originally Posted by JoeMorgue View Post
Pretty on the edge. He was elected 56-41% in 2014 and it's hard to get a firm feel for how the last few years will effect his image with the voters.

Sadly, I lean toward him getting relected in 2020.
I'd rate it as a near-certainty. It's not like he's going to get any serious competition from within his own party, and as majority leader he is virtually guaranteed to have as much campaign money as he needs or wants to spend. What Republican power-broker is going to say no to him?
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Old 13th December 2019, 01:39 PM   #96
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Originally Posted by Babbylonian View Post
I'd rate it as a near-certainty. It's not like he's going to get any serious competition from within his own party, and as majority leader he is virtually guaranteed to have as much campaign money as he needs or wants to spend. What Republican power-broker is going to say no to him?
Dolt 45 would, and since he's in charge now...

Ordinarily, I'd say that he's sunk, since he tried to destroy Kynect, left coal miners lose their pensions (while dems supported their protests quite openly), and any number of other monsterous things. But most people vote party, so...
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Old 13th December 2019, 01:52 PM   #97
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Originally Posted by Mumbles View Post
Dolt 45 would, and since he's in charge now...
He would if McConnell didn't give him every benefit he can possibly provide. But let's say the rapist did say no; Trump still doesn't have the juice to stop Koch and other Republicans with huge money from supporting their little turtle.
Quote:
Ordinarily, I'd say that he's sunk, since he tried to destroy Kynect, left coal miners lose their pensions (while dems supported their protests quite openly), and any number of other monsterous things. But most people vote party, so...
If screwing over their base kept Republicans from being reelected, they'd lose their incumbents every election cycle. While Democrats may support workers' rights, it's not like they're going to even say that they support the coal industry over, you know, every other energy source. Republican coal miners will vote Republican, both because they're, in general, true believers and because they can't read the writing on the wall...because their Republican representatives won't properly fund their schools.
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Old 13th December 2019, 02:06 PM   #98
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Originally Posted by Babbylonian View Post
If screwing over their base kept Republicans from being reelected, they'd lose their incumbents every election cycle.
"If X was going to make Republicans lose it would have happened by now" is the retort to the entire Democratic strategy at this point.
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Old 13th December 2019, 02:09 PM   #99
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Some of these posts seems to be saying that partisanship is leading people to take a course of action they know is wrong. I wonder if partisanship is actually causing people to think their actions are correct and based on evidence.... cognitive dissonance rather than ethical lapse.
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Old 13th December 2019, 02:13 PM   #100
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Originally Posted by JoeMorgue View Post
"If X was going to make Republicans lose it would have happened by now" is the retort to the entire Democratic strategy at this point.
There's no question that Democrats should fight hard in every race, especially since their message should appeal to the working class, but I have to note that my hyperbole was meant to express that they'd lose their incumbents every cycle with new Republicans replacing old ones. This is on the assumption that there are still too many who will vote based entirely on the party affiliation of the candidate...a practice I despised even among those with whom I agree when there were more reasonable Republicans in the mix.
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Old 13th December 2019, 02:46 PM   #101
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Originally Posted by BobTheCoward View Post
Some of these posts seems to be saying that partisanship is leading people to take a course of action they know is wrong. I wonder if partisanship is actually causing people to think their actions are correct and based on evidence.... cognitive dissonance rather than ethical lapse.
The evidence from psychology suggests you are correct.
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Old 13th December 2019, 03:08 PM   #102
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Originally Posted by Mumbles View Post
Dolt 45 would, and since he's in charge now...

Ordinarily, I'd say that he's sunk, since he tried to destroy Kynect, left coal miners lose their pensions (while dems supported their protests quite openly), and any number of other monsterous things. But most people vote party, so...
They did just elect a Democrat as governor.
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Old 13th December 2019, 03:12 PM   #103
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Originally Posted by Trebuchet View Post
They did just elect a Democrat as governor.
AIUI, the incumbent Republican governor was despised by even his own party.
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Old 13th December 2019, 03:14 PM   #104
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Originally Posted by Stacyhs View Post
AIUI, the incumbent Republican governor was despised by even his own party.
Yeah. He's spent his lame-duck time selling pardons.
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Old 13th December 2019, 04:58 PM   #105
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Here is the Senate oath for an impeachment, as reported by this site.
Quote:
Senators all swear a general Oath to uphold the Constitution, but the Oath taken in impeachment trials is more finely tuned. It is a juror’s oath, not a legislator’s oath. Rule XXV of the Senate Rules in Impeachment Trials provides the text: ”I solemnly swear (or affirm) that in all things appertaining to the trial of ____, now pending, I will do impartial justice according to the Constitution and laws, so help me God.”
Moscow Mitchy won't have the slightest qualms about putting his hand on the Holy Bible and falsely swearing that oath.
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Old 13th December 2019, 06:25 PM   #106
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Originally Posted by BobTheCoward View Post
It isn't a court room. Senators are supposed to be partial.
Actually, in this case the Senate IS a court room, and McConnel is one of the jurors. If he is conspiring with Trump he must recuse himself from voting.
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Old 13th December 2019, 06:26 PM   #107
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Originally Posted by BobTheCoward View Post
Some of these posts seems to be saying that partisanship is leading people to take a course of action they know is wrong. I wonder if partisanship is actually causing people to think their actions are correct and based on evidence.... cognitive dissonance rather than ethical lapse.
Are you actually suggesting there is no evidence that Trump did anything improper, let alone illegal?
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Old 13th December 2019, 06:33 PM   #108
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Originally Posted by Trebuchet View Post
Yeah. He's spent his lame-duck time selling pardons.

He is getting totally ripped in Kentucky over this by just about everybody,including most GOP politicians.
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Old 13th December 2019, 06:39 PM   #109
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Originally Posted by Mumbles View Post
Dolt 45 would, and since he's in charge now...

Ordinarily, I'd say that he's sunk, since he tried to destroy Kynect, left coal miners lose their pensions (while dems supported their protests quite openly), and any number of other monsterous things. But most people vote party, so...
You think Trump would say no to McConnell? For any reason? I don't see it.

I saw abysmal ratings for McConnell in 2017. Like, 18 percent. But you are probably better informed than I am.

Originally Posted by Squeegee Beckenheim View Post

There are unquestionably flaws in the system (just one of which is that it's likely that now Johnson has formed a majority government he's going to curtail the power of the Supreme Court out of revenge), but I think there's evidence that it's more effective than the US system which, as you've observed, is proving fairly ineffective once people decide they're no longer obeying the gentleperson's agreement to play fair.
I'm not proud but I suck at understanding the British system. So I can't speak to the House of Lords issue. But I find even your guarded optimism very reassuring. I'm a fan of the UK and hope it endures.

Originally Posted by Babbylonian View Post
Exactly. While we all know that there are people who will accept anything their team does, this action is a huge risk with seemingly no upside. All it can do is harden the will of the opposition and potentially make others wonder if their team is any good at all.
Which makes me wonder why McConnell made such a big deal out of it. It seems designed to butter up Trump, but for what?

If course he could just be sucking up gratuitously but it feels contrived.
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Old 13th December 2019, 07:26 PM   #110
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Originally Posted by Hercules56 View Post
Are you actually suggesting there is no evidence that Trump did anything improper, let alone illegal?
What are you talking about?
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Old 13th December 2019, 07:32 PM   #111
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Originally Posted by Hercules56 View Post
Actually, in this case the Senate IS a court room, and McConnel is one of the jurors. If he is conspiring with Trump he must recuse himself from voting.
Not according to the Constitution. It is silent on that. It is a matter of what rules the Senate uses....and it isnt the federal laws governing jurors.
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Old 14th December 2019, 12:27 AM   #112
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Originally Posted by BobTheCoward View Post
I disagree. At no time do they lose their role as representative. If being impartial is against the interest of their constituents, then being impartial would violate their duty.
Their FIRST duty is to the US Constitution - that is the duty for which they swore an oath i.e. to defend the Constitution against all enemies, both foreign and domestic. The way Trump has behaved makes him an enemy of the Constitution.

Their NEXT duty is to the truth

Their duty to their constituents comes a very distant third!
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Old 14th December 2019, 12:54 AM   #113
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Originally Posted by smartcooky View Post
Their FIRST duty is to the US Constitution - that is the duty for which they swore an oath i.e. to defend the Constitution against all enemies, both foreign and domestic. The way Trump has behaved makes him an enemy of the Constitution.

Their NEXT duty is to the truth

Their duty to their constituents comes a very distant third!
The problem here is "defend the Constitution" is itself so vague as to be useless. Like if they think the Constitution is best defended by keeping in office a president that will continue to appoint the right kind of judges. Or similar.
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Old 14th December 2019, 05:12 AM   #114
BobTheCoward
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Originally Posted by smartcooky View Post
Their FIRST duty is to the US Constitution - that is the duty for which they swore an oath i.e. to defend the Constitution against all enemies, both foreign and domestic. The way Trump has behaved makes him an enemy of the Constitution.

Their NEXT duty is to the truth

Their duty to their constituents comes a very distant third!
They probably disagree with your interpretation. They probably legitimately think Trump did not do something impeachable. So they would violate the Constitution by impeachment. Resolving cognitive dissonance is not a conscious act.
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Old 14th December 2019, 05:16 AM   #115
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Originally Posted by ahhell View Post
Senators were appointed by the State governments rather than elected.
Even that is open to being partisan and political. Independent bodies are, IMO, the best way to mitigate that factor. Although how you choose the members of those bodies is one question and, as you say, it's ultimately less democratic.
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Old 14th December 2019, 05:22 AM   #116
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Originally Posted by Squeegee Beckenheim View Post
Even that is open to being partisan and political. Independent bodies are, IMO, the best way to mitigate that factor. Although how you choose the members of those bodies is one question and, as you say, it's ultimately less democratic.
Democracy isn't a good thing so that is a plus.
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Old 14th December 2019, 05:25 AM   #117
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Originally Posted by Minoosh View Post
I'm not proud but I suck at understanding the British system. So I can't speak to the House of Lords issue. But I find even your guarded optimism very reassuring. I'm a fan of the UK and hope it endures.
This last year has really helped me to see the benefits of the UK system. We had (and have - but that's a rant for a different time) a Prime Minister who was similar to Trump in that he was trying to ride roughshod over the system and set himself up as Emperor, and he was slapped down by the system working as it should. As I indicated upthread even the queen being the head of state looked like it might come in to play with her exercising a power that no British monarch has for a very long time. It didn't come to that, but it was an interesting case study in how being a monarchy could actually be beneficial to democracy. And if you'd have told me when I was a teenager or in my 20s that I'd be saying anything at all positive about having a queen I'd have laughed in your face.

I think flaws in the system are going to play more into next year, now that Johnson's got a large majority (and, indeed, the very fact that he has a large majority exposes a similar flaw in the system to the electoral roll having elected Trump on a minority of votes), and we're in the bad situation we're currently in because of a lot of very stupid moves by quite a few people creating a perfect storm. But it has indeed been heartening over the last several months to see the checks and balances in the UK system doing exactly what they're supposed to do and reining in someone who was trying to abuse the system for his own personal and political gain.
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Old 14th December 2019, 05:44 AM   #118
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Originally Posted by acbytesla View Post
No they ARE NOT. Before the trial every Senator must take an oath to be impartial and uphold the Constitution.
Do you believe the fairytale that we live in a Republic too?
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Old 14th December 2019, 05:46 AM   #119
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Originally Posted by smartcooky View Post
Their FIRST duty is to the US Constitution - that is the duty for which they swore an oath i.e. to defend the Constitution against all enemies, both foreign and domestic. The way Trump has behaved makes him an enemy of the Constitution.

Their NEXT duty is to the truth

Their duty to their constituents comes a very distant third!
You Talking Mitch McConnell doubt he has ever really read the Constitution, it
Isn't in the Republicans play book.
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Old 14th December 2019, 06:13 AM   #120
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Seems to me that the biggest problem in US politics is that your judiciary isn't independent. If that were fixed, this mess would never happen again.

Independent judges, not politically appointed and hired in competition with others by an independent body of peers and with a separate ethics body with the power to put a judge on trial for misconduct. None of the involved are at any point appointed by any politician.

As an aside, this is the way it is in Sweden, so maybe it's too socialist for y'all.

ETA: Thinking more about it, it's probably more complicated than I originally thought, and to achieve a truly independent judiciary, you'd need a cultural change.

Let me explain, again using Sweden as an example: A judge in Sweden works in an office in an office building with other judges, administrators, 'secretaries' (we don't call them that anymore), security personnel, janitors etc. They all eat together. They have their fika together. They have Christmas parties and celebrate each others birthdays and go on office conferences. Each judge is just another employee. Sure, he or she is an important - crucial even - part of the office, and has the power to affect the handling of any individual case within their assigned lot (a case is divided among judges using a lottery system), but they aren't untouchable bastions of unattainable glory. They get payed more than the rest, so they have nicer clothes (generally), but they are just Lars, Susanne or Monica with the janitors. This includes the supreme court justices.

This culture is essential because it ensures not only that the judge is centered in normalcy and has the ability to visualize what the impact of their decisions would be on the common people - because the guy in the office next door is one of them, and he just bought chocolates for the entire office yesterday - but also to make them understand that they are just employees, and they will not remain a judge if they screw up.

My advice for the US for the future - provided you ever get the chance: de-dramatize the role of the judge in society and work on setting up a system to hire judges that isn't dependent on the whims of a - possibly deranged or fascist - president with a sycophantic congress.
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