Yesterday’s poll: Prognostications about Trump

My poll yesterday, “Is Trump toast?” came from my feeling—which I still hold—that he won’t last his first term: that he’ll either resign or be forced out of office.  I asked readers their opinion, and here are the results as of 8 a.m. today:

Only about 28% of respondents agree with me, 43% think he’ll get in trouble (well, he is in trouble already) but weather it, and 25% think nothing will happen. In other words, 68% think that it’ll be business as usual after the Mueller/Stormy Daniels/other Future Fracases affairs are over. That’s either remarkably cynical (but a justifiable cynicism) or a reflection that people think Trump didn’t break the law.  I think he did, but that’s just a guess.

94 Comments

  1. GBJames
    Posted April 11, 2018 at 9:24 am | Permalink

    “…but that’s just a guess.”

    I’d call it a sensible conclusion, not a guess. There’s an awful lot of reason to think he’s engaged in criminal activity.

  2. Bob
    Posted April 11, 2018 at 9:26 am | Permalink

    I hope Trump does survive and serve out his term. I believe that Pence as president would be far worse than Trump. Pence could actually be effective while Trump will likely accomplish nothing.

    • Ken Kukec
      Posted April 11, 2018 at 9:49 am | Permalink

      If, as seems likely, one or both houses of congress go Democratic in the midterms, a president Pence entering office would be hamstrung, especially with all the stank left on him after Trump. Pence has no political base of his own, aside from the Evangelicals (who’ve been thoroughly discredited regarding any type of moral stance by their support for Trump).

      Hell, if Trump hadn’t’ve plucked him from obscurity, Pence was a long-shot to get reelected governor of Indiana, after his disastrous first term in office.

      • John Conoboy
        Posted April 11, 2018 at 10:21 am | Permalink

        Pence’s base is the Koch brothers.

        I hope you are right about the dems taking control in the house and/or senate. According to today’s NY Times,Paul Ryan is not going to run again. This could be a good sign of the proverbial rats doing what they do.

        I think it is unlikely that drumpf can be reelected in 2020 unless the Dems are stupid and nominate a candidate with tons of baggage–as they did in 2016.

      • Curt Cameron
        Posted April 11, 2018 at 11:28 am | Permalink

        I resolve to begin using the word “stank” more.

        I think I first heard it on Family Guy.

    • Posted April 11, 2018 at 10:54 am | Permalink

      trump’s effect is far from nil. He is a creator of chaos, and is disrupting the daily working of the federal government at all levels. He is a crude, vile and mentally unbalanced creature, and his continued occupation of our highest office degrades and demeans the integrity of that office and our institutions. Further, his untempered posturing and chest-pounding is wreaking havoc on our international standing. The only thing standing between us and a war is the fact that the military would in all likelihood disobey trump.

      • Ken Kukec
        Posted April 11, 2018 at 11:44 am | Permalink

        I agree, except as to your last sentence. If there’s one thing sacrosanct in the military, it’s the chain of command. People who’ve climbed the ranks to wear stars on their epaulettes have been conditioned to gnaw off their own feet rather than disobey a direct order from above.

        I’m very glad a reasonable man like Jim Mattis runs the Pentagon these days. But if our last resort is disobedience of a direct order from the commander-in-chief, we’re really in perilous shape.

        • Posted April 11, 2018 at 1:00 pm | Permalink

          Bush asked the joint chiefs to draw up a plan to invade Iran, and they refused.

          • John in Florida
            Posted April 11, 2018 at 2:02 pm | Permalink

            That’s interesting. I don’t disbelieve it but can you give me a citation?

          • Ken Kukec
            Posted April 11, 2018 at 2:03 pm | Permalink

            Do you have a source for that? I’m aware of Dubya discussing with his military advisers the possibility of a bombing attack on Iran’s nuclear facilities, and of many of them being cool to the idea, but I haven’t heard of a DoD refusal of a direct order to draw up an invasion plan.

            • Randall Schenck
              Posted April 11, 2018 at 2:29 pm | Permalink

              You are probably correct but that was then and now what do we have. We have no foreign policy at all anywhere. With Trump we just have today. His thinking is shorter than some other parts. Yet we want this big military that Obama was destroying. Just pure bullshit. We spend more money than any other 10 countries and we still think we need more. For what purpose? It has no purpose. We could right now, reduce our military by half and no one would even know the difference. The only difference is that maybe there would be some money for doing some real things in this country. Hold your breath on that.

          • Posted April 11, 2018 at 3:07 pm | Permalink

            Refuse an order to draw up a plan? I find that hard to believe. I am sure the DoD has plans for far worse eventualities, like a nuclear war with China. They wouldn’t be doing their job if they didn’t.

  3. Posted April 11, 2018 at 9:27 am | Permalink

    I was a nothing, but it was pure cynicism. Thanks orange draft dodger is Teflon, and remarkably a huge number of Republicans are unwavering supporters.

    • Posted April 11, 2018 at 9:50 am | Permalink

      In fairness, your cynicism is based on evidence. He has a record of dishonesty and disregard for compassion and decency. His followers appear not to care and many within the government appear either unwilling or to frightened to endorse Trump’s early departure.

      • Heather Hastie
        Posted April 11, 2018 at 3:29 pm | Permalink

        Re elected representatives. My impression is that a majority have a very low opinion of him but because their constituents like him they have to be seen to support him to retain their support.

    • Posted April 11, 2018 at 10:45 am | Permalink

      I am not normally a cynical person, but was among the “nothing” voters on this issue based on existing evidence. I do believe that Drumpf himself, his family and his fellow travelers are either criminals or, at the very least, life-long abusers of the laws. Anything that is thought to be to their advantage. But, wealthy patrons have far more power re Drumpf than we peons.

    • busterggi
      Posted April 11, 2018 at 3:31 pm | Permalink

      Amun!

      My cynicism knows no bounds.

  4. nay
    Posted April 11, 2018 at 9:29 am | Permalink

    I’m with the 68% out of justifiable cynicism. I wish I could be optimistic that Congress will finally stand up for us all, but feel that if the Dems don’t fill every available seat in the midterms, we’re in for two more years of the same.

  5. Randall Schenck
    Posted April 11, 2018 at 9:31 am | Permalink

    I am not surprised with the results. The majority of the comments here have been wrong in the past so why should they change now. I feel that most are either not really so well informed which is fine because there are other things to do besides follow this disgusting political era we are going through.

    But Trump will not last and this is pretty well known in many circles. The republican party is a very dead party, it just has not laid down yet. Trump is so corrupt his future is maybe in the Russian mob in NY, I have no idea. But he will be gone before 2020.

    Just follow it today. The Spineless, gutless Paul Ryan is giving it up. The hand writing is on the wall and the rats are leaving the sinking ship.

    • Mark Sturtevant
      Posted April 11, 2018 at 10:51 am | Permalink

      I wish I shared your optimism. But the Republicans are not going to just walk away and the Democrats are not good at winning.

      • Randall Schenck
        Posted April 11, 2018 at 11:06 am | Permalink

        But you are not correct. The republicans are just walking away in large numbers. Many have chosen not to run. And please review the special elections in various states so far. I guess you can wait until November to be surprise and become optimistic. If the democrats manage to get control of the house and Senate, Trump will be on his way.

        • Mark Sturtevant
          Posted April 11, 2018 at 12:29 pm | Permalink

          I wish I was incorrect, but right now I still see the marked difference between what ought to be and what is. Where are the republican politicians and voters walking away, leaving openings for progressives?
          There is AZ senator Jeff Flake who is resigning out of principle, but all indicators are that his elected replacement will be chosen by voters who have not given up the cause one iota. If there are other vacancies they will be replaced by the same old same old, b/c that is the kind of creature that the republican base wants.

        • Mark Sturtevant
          Posted April 11, 2018 at 12:54 pm | Permalink

          This is this nice summary that shows the Dems have a chance, but a very slim one:
          https://www.cnn.com/2018/04/11/politics/house-race-ratings-ryan-retirement-update/index.html

          • Posted April 11, 2018 at 1:22 pm | Permalink

            Yes, I fail to see how anyone can still be optimistic about this. Many people seem to be making the same mistake they did before the last presidential election. The Trump base is still out there (and they are VERY happy with Trump) and the Dems are still rudderless and still fail to understand why they lost last time.

    • dabertini
      Posted April 11, 2018 at 10:55 am | Permalink

      In Randall Schenck we trust! I am counting on you being right.

    • Heather Hastie
      Posted April 11, 2018 at 3:45 pm | Permalink

      I voted that he’d get in trouble but would survive, but that opinion only relates to the Stormy Daniels thing, which is what Jerry’s post was about. I don’t think this particular incident will destroy him. It will be a catalyst though.

      I don’t think Trump will make it to 2020, but not because of Stormy/Stephanie. All along I have thought that Trump himself didn’t get provably involved in collusion related to the election with the Russians. That’s why he was okay with that being investigated.

      He was always touchy about his personal finances being looked at. I’ve always said the provable illegal stuff will be his finances. Mueller has lawyers expert in finding that stuff, and I think that’s probably happening already.

      #CrookedDonald

  6. Mark Perew
    Posted April 11, 2018 at 9:42 am | Permalink

    What would be the mechanism for Trump leaving office? Impeachment is highly unlikely and a resignation even more improbable. He’s already running for re-election.

    As much as we can wish he was gone, I can’t see a path where that wish is fulfilled before Jan 20, 2021.

    • GBJames
      Posted April 11, 2018 at 9:43 am | Permalink

      November is coming.

      • Mark Perew
        Posted April 11, 2018 at 9:45 am | Permalink

        Yes, November is coming. Please spell out how that equates to Trump leaving office. Wishes don’t make reality.

        • GBJames
          Posted April 11, 2018 at 9:48 am | Permalink

          By all measures we have, there is a huge change in Congress that is about to take place. Thereafter, conditions will be better for tRump’s removal.

          Is this hard to comprehend?

          • BobTerrace
            Posted April 11, 2018 at 10:27 am | Permalink

            Yes, 2/3rds of the senate is needed to convict after an impeachment. This is very unlikely to happen. Republicans don’t vote on principles, they vote party.

            • GBJames
              Posted April 11, 2018 at 10:37 am | Permalink

              Republican senators have been able to hide behind the House where Ryan & Company can block impeachment activity. When that blockage is gone, and without the ability for the no-doubt-gigantic trail of illegalities being exposed in a trial, enough Republican senators will vote to convict. They will still have a Republican president.

              But I agree… they don’t vote on principles.

          • Mark Perew
            Posted April 11, 2018 at 10:34 am | Permalink

            If you are hinting that the Democrats will take control of both houses so that an impeachment will take place, then I wish you luck. It is not likely that the Dems will take control of the House. No Articles of Impeachment will come without that control.

            Even if the Dems should win the House, it is even less likely that there would be 67 votes in the Senate for a conviction.

            Trump will weather this onslaught. The realistic hope for his removal will come through the 2020 presidential elections.

            • GBJames
              Posted April 11, 2018 at 10:44 am | Permalink

              I’m not hinting, I’m saying it. I’m not alone. I think Paul Ryan agrees with me.

              Of course I could be wrong.

          • Historian
            Posted April 11, 2018 at 10:42 am | Permalink

            My analysis is that the 2/3 vote in the Senate necessary for removal of a president (after the House impeaches) makes Trump’s departure after the 2018 elections is iffy at best. Because there are so many more Democratic senators than Republicans up for re-election this cycle it is possible the Republicans may pick up a few seats. Regardless of the composition of the Senate in 2019, probably around 20 Republicans will be necessary for removal. I think there would be a handful of conservative Democrats who would not vote for removal. To get 20 Republicans to vote for removal would require a complete collapse of Trump’s approval with his base. I don’t think this will happen, regardless of what Mueller does or if the Democrats take control of the House, which is a realistic possibility. I also don’t think Trump will resign; his ego won’t allow it. So, my money (but not a lot of it) is on the nation being cursed with Trump until January 20, 2021.

            • Randall Schenck
              Posted April 11, 2018 at 11:16 am | Permalink

              I think you fail to see the blue wave but mostly you and everyone else do not know what Mueller and company are going to bring forward. My understanding is that reports will be created and forwarded to Rosenstein in parts. The first one is likely to be on obstruction. That one is a slam dunk. The next is probably on collusion but then there will be other corruption issues like money laundering, campaign finance violations and others. Let us see how the spineless republicans stand up in the face of actual charges and get away from all this talk and pure speculation. It is easy to stand behind the corruption and play the dumb congressman or women when nothing is out there showing all the evidence. But just like science, it is evidence that makes the difference in a criminal matter, is it not.

              • Historian
                Posted April 11, 2018 at 11:32 am | Permalink

                There will be no blue wave in the Senate because I believe there are 25 Democrats up for re-election and only 7 Republicans (give or take one or two). At best, the Democrats will pick up a handful of seats. Yes, the Mueller report will probably damn Trump. How the “spineless Republicans” in the Senate will react is unknown at the present time. As I’ve said before, they will turn on Trump only if his base of support collapses. If it doesn’t, they won’t vote for removal. So, come next January, could there be 20 Republican senators ready to vote for removal (assuming the House impeaches)? We’ll just have to wait and see. My guess would be no. My study of politics makes me chary of making predictions with absolute confidence.

              • Ken Kukec
                Posted April 11, 2018 at 12:07 pm | Permalink

                I agree with much of what Historian says. Nevertheless, if Republicans suffer a major defeat this Fall because of Trump, and if Mueller issues a scathing report regarding Trump’s nefarious activities, then the 22 GOP senators up for reelection in 2020 (which includes nine who were first swept into office in the 2014 midterms, some from states Clinton carried in 2016) may decide that their own political survival depends upon abandoning Trump.

                I agree that, if it comes down to a senate vote, much will depend on the evidence adduced by special counsel (and by Democratically led committees in congress) and on the American public’s reaction to it.

              • John Conoboy
                Posted April 11, 2018 at 3:25 pm | Permalink

                If the republicans retain control of the house and senate, then any report Mueller does will not be seen by the American people. The current law that authorizes a special counsel only provides for a report to be submitted to Congress. Congress can open that report to the public, but is not required to.

            • Posted April 11, 2018 at 1:27 pm | Permalink

              Randy, no matter what charges Mueller brings, it will have no effect. Don’t you remember the horrors that came up during the election campaign? Dems kept thinking “OK, THIS will surely take Trump out”, but this showed a complete lack of understanding of Trump’s base.

              • Randall Schenck
                Posted April 11, 2018 at 2:04 pm | Permalink

                Okay, I don’t need to waste lots of time attempting to convince the herd. They will just make noise and take up space. We will see in about 6 months who is right and who is wrong.

    • denise
      Posted April 11, 2018 at 2:48 pm | Permalink

      He’s looking more and more to me like a heart attack about to happen.

    • Posted April 12, 2018 at 12:22 pm | Permalink

      + 1. I wish the Democrats to concentrate on preparing well for the next elections. Three years will pass like a dream, and I fear that the next thing on sight will be an unelectable candidate and a rhetoric that annoys half of the electorate.

  7. Randy Bessinger
    Posted April 11, 2018 at 9:42 am | Permalink

    I think he most likely broke the law, but So far every prediction that he would already be gone has been wrong. Most notable being tne ghost writer for “The Art of the Deal”. Several of my friends said he would be gone before the end of last year. That said, if the economy sours, his faithful followers (evangelicals) will be the first to bail IMO.

    • GBJames
      Posted April 11, 2018 at 9:45 am | Permalink

      No, only those predictions that he would be gone by now have been wrong. Most predictions that I’m aware of are “gone before the end of his first term”. That is nearly three years away. There’s plenty of time for most of the predictions to be right.

      • Randy Bessinger
        Posted April 11, 2018 at 9:53 am | Permalink

        That’s true I suppose, but could you let me know some of the people who have said by end of term. It seems every day some news outlet (mainly left) says the end is near…and then it isn’t.

        • GBJames
          Posted April 11, 2018 at 10:08 am | Permalink

          I don’t exactly have the bandwidth/resources to collect a representative sample of prognostications from the past year+. So we’ll need to just agree that our subjective impressions are different.

          I’ll point out, though, that your last sentence relies on two things that are suspect… One is an unclear definition of “near”. The other is the logical fallacy of concluding that such a statement made recently can possibly be shown to be false without waiting some (unspecified) time. For emphasis… only those who said he would be gone by today have been wrong.

          As for me, I can’t believe he will last another almost-three years. But I could be wrong.

        • Randall Schenck
          Posted April 11, 2018 at 10:13 am | Permalink

          I don’t think it is just prediction because the prediction, whatever it is, should be based on the accumulated date (facts). And the data is piling up now. His fixer is in a big fix. Some of his people are indited. Some have flipped. You can now create a large pile of Russians from Putin down. We have absolute obstruction of justice and will soon know about the collusion.

          This next election will signal the end of the republican party as you know it. The blue wave is coming if you are paying attention. The rats are leaving.

          I am not sure what you are basing your belief on accept it has not happened yet. That is kind of thin.

    • Posted April 11, 2018 at 10:06 am | Permalink

      I’m not sure an economic downturn would affect the right’s loyalty. The right’s primary tenet seems to me to be: “tribe above all else”. We are all tribal to some degree, but their tribalism is nuclear-powered.

  8. Posted April 11, 2018 at 9:48 am | Permalink

    I voted “nothing” because, in my opinion, many who voted for him already knew that his behavior is shady.

    Bottom line: so long as the wealthy get their tax cuts, social conservatives get their right wing judges and the rest get to enjoy watching him “punch hippies” (tell off feminists and other SJWs and not even pretend to care that they are angry), they are fine with him.

    The rest is “TL;DR…they all do it anyway…”what about Hillary and Uranium, Obama and “fast and furious”, etc.”

  9. ThyroidPlanet
    Posted April 11, 2018 at 9:59 am | Permalink

    The two questions are sort of the same – nothing will happen and he’ll get in trouble but weather it

    I voted nothing, but can see the other being compelling

  10. Posted April 11, 2018 at 9:59 am | Permalink

    “He’ll survive” is pure cynicism on my part.

  11. barn owl
    Posted April 11, 2018 at 10:03 am | Permalink

    I voted for “He’ll get in trouble but will survive.” I voted before watching last night’s Frontline episode on PBS, “Trump’s Takeover,” which only confirmed my choice. Disgusting to watch McConnell, Hatch, Ryan et al. osculate Trump’s rump after the tax bill approval. I think the program is worth watching, but you’ve been warned. Maybe take some Pepto-Bismol in advance. 😛

  12. Ken Kukec
    Posted April 11, 2018 at 10:15 am | Permalink

    Trump’s been a complete scoundrel his entire public life, and there’s no plausible innocent explanation for all the facts already known in the public sphere (let alone everything Mueller’s team has been sedulously investigating in secret for near a year now). So the goods are almost certainly there.

    This nation is headed for its worst constitutional crisis since the Civil War. Trump has a morbid fear of being tagged with the scarlet L-word — “Loser.” There is no American institution he will not tear down, no norm he will not violate, no desperate measure he will refuse to take to avoid it.

    Or we may luck out, and he will rage quit, throwing up his hands à la Roberto Duran’s “no mas” — if he thinks he can do it while claiming some type of victory in his victimhood, and if he sees a way to monetize the move with the sad suckers who constitute his devoted base.

    • Posted April 11, 2018 at 10:56 am | Permalink

      I don’t know how, or if, Trump has avoided the label, “LOSER” heretofore. It is very clear from his personal statements, what’s known of his biography and his business, and legal transactions that he was, is, and will be a “LOSER” of the first order. But, perhaps, that is exactly what much of the populace knew, and wanted. Someone who knows how to manipulate a “s****ed up” system.

  13. Posted April 11, 2018 at 10:17 am | Permalink

    As they say, “Hope for the best, but expect the worst.”, which is why I voted ‘survive’ instead of ‘out of office’.

  14. kieran
    Posted April 11, 2018 at 10:22 am | Permalink

    My money is still on rage quit with pardon.

  15. BobTerrace
    Posted April 11, 2018 at 10:29 am | Permalink

    Trump clearly broke the law. He already admitted publicly that he fired Comey over the Russian investigation. That is obstruction of justice.

  16. John Black
    Posted April 11, 2018 at 10:31 am | Permalink

    I used to believe, like our host, that Trump would be ousted before his first term was up. But after seeing how far the GOP will go to cover for him, and how little the American public seem to care about grave misdoings by our President, I’ve started to think he can do almost anything and get away with it. Sadly.

  17. Posted April 11, 2018 at 10:49 am | Permalink

    As of Jan. 1 the Irish oddsmaker and online gambling site Paddy Power had the odds that Trump would be impeached in his first term at 5-4. A lot of terrible things have happened for Trump since Jan. 1. I can’t believe the odds have gotten better for him.

    Anyone who is absolutely convinced that Trump will not be impeached should mortgage their house, withdraw their retirement savings, and go to Paddy Power. The odds get better every day.

    (I wish I could see the current odds, but Paddy Power is blocked in the US. Maybe someone in Ireland can help out? Grania?)

    • Historian
      Posted April 11, 2018 at 11:04 am | Permalink

      When you say impeached, do you actually mean removal from office by the Senate? Impeachment and removal are two different actions. If the Democrats take the House in November then impeachment is a real possibility. But, removal by the Senate is much less so. And if Trump is not removed then impeachment by the House is nothing more than a symbolic act, such as was the case with Bill Clinton’s impeachment.

      • Posted April 11, 2018 at 12:21 pm | Permalink

        I know that, but I’m not sure Paddy Power does. 🙂 I got the wording second-hand from a NYT article.

    • Posted April 11, 2018 at 11:31 am | Permalink

      Electionbettingodds.com has the chance currently of winning with “Trump out early” at just 33%, although I imagine the chance of winning with impeachment is higher. As we all know, impeachment does not mean departure.

      • Posted April 11, 2018 at 11:34 am | Permalink

        However, I do suspect the chance of a rage quit is high if he is impeached.

    • Posted April 12, 2018 at 9:17 am | Permalink

      I used to think Paddy Power was an Irish civil rights movement.

      Anyway, today they are showing:
      “Will Trump be Impeached in his First Term?” Yes: 13/8, No: 4/9.
      “Year that Trump is Impeached” 2020: 16/1, 2019: 6/1, 2018: 4/1.
      “Will Trump Resign?” No: 1/6, Yes: 7/2
      “Will Trump complete his 1st term in office? Yes: 3/10, No: 2/1.

      Of course, these odds reflect the opinions of UK and Irish punters, and what do they know about US politics?

      • Posted April 14, 2018 at 6:19 pm | Permalink

        I’m pretty sure they’re more objective than Fox News.

  18. Posted April 11, 2018 at 10:59 am | Permalink

    trump is going down. Regardless whether the Russian connection can be traced all the way to his person, the obstruction of justice is a slam dunk. The Stormy Daniels pay-off may also prove to be his undoing in itself.

    He’s now a serious liability to the mainstream GOP, which didn’t like him in the first place. If the Dems can take the House and indict, there’ll be enough votes in the Senate to convict.

    trump is a narcissist, so he will never resign. I predict impeachment followed by trump pardoning himself, and a forcible removal of his person being dragged out of the White House.

    • Randall Schenck
      Posted April 11, 2018 at 11:55 am | Permalink

      Glad to see I am not alone here. Lets also not forget the findings from the raid on Cohen will likely bring much evidence back to Mueller as well as give the New York federal authorities plenty to indite Cohen. He may be a tough one to flip but who knows. He has a wife and kids and just like Gates, he may see his life flashing before him.

      I see three or four counts of obstruction of justice just on Trump alone – the firing of Comey, also asking Comey to just let Flynn go and a couple of pretty well documented attempts to fire Mueller. People need to ask themselves – is Trump acting like an innocent person here.

    • Rita
      Posted April 11, 2018 at 2:23 pm | Permalink

      +1

  19. Posted April 11, 2018 at 11:04 am | Permalink

    If Mueller can depose trump, the arrogant & motor-mouthed narcissist will boast & brag and fully incriminate himself. To be able to watch that depo would be the greatest entertainment event of the Century.

    • Ken Kukec
      Posted April 11, 2018 at 12:31 pm | Permalink

      Mueller can serve a subpoena on Trump to compel his appearance before a federal grand jury — if the Nixon and Clinton cases establish anything, it’s that a federal grand jury is “entitled to every man’s evidence” (as the saying used to go). Much would depend on how long Trump could stretch that process out with spurious court challenges — and on whether Mueller remains as special counsel, and Rod Rosenstein as the Justice Dept. official in charge of the investigation (which seems increasingly unlikely, as Trump stews and festers).

      I think there’s also a distinct possibility that, when all is said and done, Trump would assert his Fifth Amendment privilege against self-incrimination in front of the grand jury. (Given Trump’s proclivity for lying, he’d be crazy not to — which, ordinarily, would be politically fatal, but with Trump, who knows?)

      • Posted April 11, 2018 at 1:01 pm | Permalink

        trump wants to talk. His lawyers — what’s left of them — are the ones trying to stall, obstruct, or convince him to take the Fifth.

      • Randall Schenck
        Posted April 11, 2018 at 1:22 pm | Permalink

        If it got down to Trump getting the subpoena and he then took the 5th. What next? Taking the 5th is the same as saying guilty. Too much ego for all that. I say he goes ahead and testifies or he throws in the towel. After all the crap on Stony Daniels, he is nowhere and will drop that one. Guilty as charged. He does not have one lawyer that is of any quality and is not likely to get one. You know you are bad when the lawyers won’t touch you…..no offense.

        • Posted April 11, 2018 at 3:20 pm | Permalink

          “Taking the 5th is the same as saying guilty.”

          This is false, though it is a common belief. It is true that “Taking the 5th” can be used by the guilty to avoid self incrimination but it is also used by the actually innocent. Invoking it means one asserts one’s right to remain silent and not say anything that can be used against them. It is the very basis of Miranda and should you ever (heaven forfend) wind up in custody you should avail yourself of this right at your earliest opportunity. The fifth is one of our most important bulwarks against miscarriage of justice.

          • GBJames
            Posted April 11, 2018 at 3:58 pm | Permalink

            I read Randall’s comment as referring to politics, not law. The 5th is not the same as “guilty” in a court. In the public sphere, things are different. You, in fact, acknowledge this when you add “though it is a common belief”.

            • Posted April 11, 2018 at 4:15 pm | Permalink

              True. Same thing with “Not Guilty”.

    • Craw
      Posted April 11, 2018 at 5:02 pm | Permalink

      The key word here is “depose”. If this is an attempt to depose an elected president then Trump is right, and Trump will win. Think carefully if you really want to be opposed to the constitution and the rule of law.

      • Harrison
        Posted April 11, 2018 at 5:07 pm | Permalink

        https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/depose

        Matt’s using the legal definition of obtaining testimony under oath outside a courtroom.

      • GBJames
        Posted April 11, 2018 at 6:04 pm | Permalink

        Please look up the definition of “depose”, Craw. It means, basically, “interview”.

      • Posted April 11, 2018 at 6:49 pm | Permalink

        depose as in ask questions of in a deposition.

  20. Posted April 11, 2018 at 11:22 am | Permalink

    The most depressing thing to me is the most positive outcomes for our country and our democracy, as put forth in the comments here, depend on the Democrats this November.

    We are so screwed.

  21. Posted April 11, 2018 at 11:24 am | Permalink

    I voted that nothing will happen, because that seems to be what Republicans are betting on. As I understand it, it would be up to Republicans to make any of Mueller’s findings public, and they seem to be preparing for a big lock down if necessary.

    I would not be all that surprised to see Cohen, Kushner and Don Jr exploring the ventral anatomy of a bus, but I wouldn’t be betting on that either necessarily.

    As a non-American, all I can say is that I am very impressed with the way Mueller is running the investigation. But it all looks to me like an elephant that’s trying, with a spectacular show of strength and dignity, to pull itself out of a swamp.

  22. Bob Gilbert
    Posted April 11, 2018 at 11:26 am | Permalink

    I vote for “justifiable cynicism” being the reason for the outcome of the vote. Members of the GOP have indeed proven their perfidy and moral turpitude to be unbounded. I heard a report this morning that something on the order of 85% of Republi-con voters approve of The Drumph.

  23. ploubere
    Posted April 11, 2018 at 11:35 am | Permalink

    Impeachment would require a motion in the House Judiciary Committee, which is unlikely to pass, given its makeup. It then requires a majority in favor in the House. Republican House members mostly come from Trump-friendly districts who would lose in the next primaries were they to vote in favor, so they won’t.

    Even if it did pass the House, Trump won’t be removed unless 2/3’s of the Senate vote in favor. That also is far-fetched.

    This isn’t cynicism, it’s reality.

    • Harrison
      Posted April 11, 2018 at 5:10 pm | Permalink

      Senate Republicans have yet to face any significant pressure to impeach because House Republicans are the first hurdle to clear.

      However, once Dems take the House, that pressure will be on. And they’ll have to start calculating whether throwing away their political careers to protect this increasingly costly bad investment they’ve made is worth it, and if there’s even enough wingnut welfare to go around after the next election cycle.

  24. Steve Gerrard
    Posted April 11, 2018 at 11:49 am | Permalink

    I think the mechanism for Trump’s removal will be that he resigns, to head off the complete revelation of all of his wrong-doings.

    At some point, it will become clear that he can no longer govern, and that sticking around will just make matters worse for him. Better to “leave on a high note, for the good of the nation,” with an automatic pardon, than to have all the skeletons in the closet paraded in public.

  25. Posted April 11, 2018 at 1:52 pm | Permalink

    The poll was probably too simple. Maybe it should include multiple questions, as in

    1) Did Trump break the law? yes/no
    2) Will it matter? yes/no
    3) Is America toast? yes/yes

  26. Posted April 11, 2018 at 2:07 pm | Permalink

    I believe the question will be answered when Trump tries to fire Mueller and his investigators. I expect he will because Mueller is getting close. I also expect the Republicans to acquiesce.

  27. nicky
    Posted April 11, 2018 at 4:08 pm | Permalink

    I voted survive, but that is possibly wishful thinking. After the havoc Mr Trump created, the last thing we want is an Ayatollah like Mr Pence to stabilise the disastrous policies and even exacerbate things.
    I’m just hoping the predicted landslide later this year will materialise, but it is far from certain. It is the best we can hope for: a completely lame duck Mr Trump. [Note I’d love to see him in an orange jumpsuit, colours he probably deserves, but what then?]

  28. Posted April 11, 2018 at 4:22 pm | Permalink

    Trump’s success is based on feeding the media frenzy. As long as the media continues to reflexly respond to his antics he will continue to be a political force.

    rz

  29. Joanne Dallas
    Posted April 12, 2018 at 12:58 am | Permalink

    Sent from my iPad

    >

  30. Posted April 14, 2018 at 1:57 am | Permalink

    Interesting question. I lean towards the view that Mr Trump will be removed from office for no good reason.

    The key question is whether or not the US Constitution has been so compromised that a duly-elected president cannot survive concerted refusal to accept defeat.

    In my opinion, the “left” in America is far too powerful to allow this modern version of Andrew Jackson to reform the political system. Immigration reform is just the tip of the iceberg.

    I include as the “left” most Democrats about half of the Republican party, called RINOs (Republican In Name Only). And I enclose “left” in quotes out of respect for my political mentors of the liberal left.

    Big government is just too big to resist. This is more or less what Alexis de Tocqueville predicted. (Democracy in America, 1835, 1840)

    De Tocqueville anticipated totalitarian democracy, a society and state with so many laws, regulations and rules that it would be impossible to know or obey them all. Anyone could be “outed” for anything deemed improper.

    Dan Bongino, a former United States Secret Service agent and unsuccessful candidate for the US House of Representatives, has put it succinctly: in the US there are so many laws and regulations that nobody can avoid committing misdemeanors and even crimes.

    Others have stated that a typical American commits one felony per day.

    Hard to believe, for America, but not hard to believe for Europe where people do not have to be charged before having their lives disrupted by the police. Sweden has never charged Julian Assange for a crime. He was held in the UK at the request of Sweden under a European Arrest Warrant, whereby anyone can lodge a complaint to the police in one state and the person can be extradited to that state for questioning without being charged with any offence. Habeus corpus does not apply in Europe, nor seemingly in the UK.

    The closure of behavioural space in the US and Europe is replicated in other modern urban societies. George Orwell’s negative utopias caught the main trends, but is now dated. C. Wright Mills, a Columbia University sociologist, might have tracked its development had he lived. (He died at an early age in 1962.)

    The closure of traditional behavioural space is paralleled by the opening of new behavioural space favoured by the new “left” as a kind of social engineering. Two genders have been transformed into four to six genders, depending on which activist movement you follow.

    Language engineering was predicted by Orwell. A recent example was the marking penalty by a professor of English at Northern Arizona University for using the word “mankind” in a term paper, because “mankind” is not “gender neutral”. If this were an aberration by one professor, it would count only as anecdote.

    But the Modern Language Association (MLA)has pronounced on such matters. Words containing “man” are deprecated. (I wonder if their style man-ual has been renamed style guidelines?

    Biologists cannot ignore this. Will biologists be compelled to teach that “man” refers to a person lacking a womb? Will “human” become “hu-person” and “female” become “fe-person”? How about “management” and “manufacture”

    I am mocking the MLA, because they seem not to be interested in the etymology of the English words?

    Latin: manu = hand. Anglo-Saxon: werman = man; wifman = woman; man = person.

    Obviously gender-neutral organisms predated those that reproduce sexually. Will biologists be required to teach that males are defective females, based on the relative sizes of the X and Y chromosomes? Is the Y-chromosome not just a truncated X-chromosome, an accident of nature that leads males to dominate because of their sense of inferiority at the lack of two full-length X-chromosomes?

    How can the new “left” achieve totalitarian democracy given the protections in the US Constitution? The US Constitution must be subverted.

    What is happening to the rule of law as set out in the US Constitution? This is the most pertinent question when considering the fate of Mr Trump. The subversion of the US Constitution has been underway from the start, which was the reason the US Bill of Rights was adopted.

    The present state of the US Constitution is revealed by the styles of the Starr investigation of Mr Clinton and of the Mueller investigation of Mr Trump.

    Special Counsels navigate carefully to evade the protections of the 1st, 4th, 5th and 6th Amendments. Protections of speech, search and surveillance, self-incrimination, and due process have all been compromised.

    How far have we come from Thomas More’s maxim, “I’d give the Devil benefit of law, for my own safety’s sake”

    Mr Starr set a trap for Mr Clinton and Mr Clinton fell into it by lying about his sexual behaviour in the Oval Office. The investigation ended with discussion of a blue dress.

    Mr Mueller is the(investigator). He is directed by Rod Rosenstein (Deputy Attorney-General). Both are operating under the maxim of Laventiy Beria, “Show me the man and I’ll find you the crime.”

    In Mr Rosenstein’s letter of appointment to Mr Mueller, he cites “collusion” as the matter to be investigated. But no US statute defines “collusion” as a crime. Moreover, federal common law does not apply to crimes.

    Congress, not Mr Rosenstein, is authorized to invent new crimes. The Department of Justice has shown Mr Mueller the man and Mr Mueller has spent about a year trying to find the crime that Mr Trump has committed.

    Mr Mueller has a long history as a prosecutor. He can rest assured that sometime, somewhere, every American has committed misdemeanors and felonies. He is confident that he will find Mr Trump’s crime.

    But there seems to be no evidence of collusion. So what to do? No blue dress either. Hang on, what about some other unsavoury sexual behaviour? Could that lead to impeachment? Well it worked with Mr Clinton. Why not with Mr Trump?

    The raid in the dark of night on Mr Cohen’s law office, his home and his hotel room, is justified by the claim that payment to Stormy Daniels by Mr Trump’s lawyer was in fact and in law an unreported and unlawful campaign contribution not protected by attorney-client privilege.

    (About the same level of reasoning as that used by the MLA to deprecate “mankind”.)

    Mr Cohen had no opportunity to defend himself before the magistrate who issued the warrant. He might reasonably have claimed that such a favour to Mr Trump was an ordinary business investment in “goodwill” to secure continuing work with the Trump organization and its owner.

    Investments are non-deductible and do not have to be reported. However, if Michael Cohen has claimed it as a tax deductible business expense he will be done for tax fraud.

    In the US it is said that any federal prosecutor worth his salt could indict and convict a ham sandwich. So whatever Mr Cohen has done or not done, he will be indicted, he will plead guilty and be convicted. He will do a plea bargain to reveal whatever he is asked about his client or be bankrupted or spend a long time in prison,

    All of this for one reason alone: MR Cohen dared to act as Mr Trump’s attorney and for that he must be punished.

    As Voltaire’s Candide learned when she visited Portsmouth, it was the custom to execute an admiral from time to time “pour encourager les autres” (to encourage the others).

    The intent of political harassment is to discourage the others. Fear of bankruptcy is the main reason people plead guilty when indicted by US prosecutors. For alleged lying to the FBI, General Flynn was indicted and forced to sell his house to pay for his legal fees. He then plead guilty. He was also promised that the charges against his son would be dropped.

    Mr Mueller has only to aim at the man and his team will find the crime, install a grand jury, get an indictment, and a conviction. Plea bargaining gives him leverage to proceed to his next target and to search for a crime. Any crime will do.

    Mr Mueller is not investigating crimes; he is identifying his targets and then finding the crime. Shades of Beria and the NKVD.

    Few safeguards stand in Mr Mueller’s path. The case of General Flynn is revealing. Testimony before Congress about whether or not he told a deliberate lie is conflicting.
    Judge Contreras, who presided over his case has since recused himself and Judge Sullivan has ordered the DOJ and FBI to deliver evidence that was withheld from the court. An FBI leak alleged Flynn’s interview record was altered to support the indictment.

    Meanwhile, it has been revealed that Judge Contreras presided over one of four FISC warrants all of which were signed by Mr Rosenstein. The four FISC warrants were used to spy on the Trump Campaign, the transition team before his inauguration as president, and on Trump and his associates during the first year after his inauguration. (FISC = Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court.)

    Mr Rosenstein and Mr Mueller are both Republicans. The Republican and Democrat establishments expect them to find what they need to impeach and convict Mr Trump and in the process to warn off supporters of anyone who dares challenge their duopoly of the US political system.

    How will Trump navigate this quagmire?

    I fear that he cannot, and my fear is not for Mr Trump, but for American democracy.

    Because where America goes, so shall we all.

    Disclaimer: The author, although a Canadian, was required long ago to take an oath to uphold the US Constitution. This note is a modest contribution.

    • Posted April 14, 2018 at 6:08 pm | Permalink

      Interesting, but I think you busted one or more of Da Roolz 🙂


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