Wait, WHAT? Somebody’s Incompetent Here, And I Don’t Think It’s Me.

According to Breitbart, A USA TODAY/Suffolk poll found that only 36 % of those polled support the House voting to impeach the President, with 22%  telling pollsters that  Congress should continue with its impeachment inquiry but should not vote to remove him. Thirty-seven per cent say lawmakers should end their impeachment probe, while four percent remain undecided on the matter.

Regarding a Senate impeachment trial, however, 46 % are in favor of convicting President Trump and 47% are against. The pollsters  used telephone to contact 1,000 registered voters and was taken between October 23rd and 26th.

How is this possible? Saying that you don’t want the House to impeach but want the Senate to convict is like saying you don’t want someone arrested and charged with a crime, but you want him to be convicted and jailed. It makes no sense.

I suspect that the incompetents here are 1) the voters polled, and 2) the pollsters, who don’t know how to poll people on a topic that they don’t comprehend. The Washington Examiner says that the polls reveals that the public’s views on impeachment are “complex.” Right. Newspapers shouldn’t use deceptive euphemisms. You might as well write that sixth graders’ views on string theory are complex.

The public’s views on impeachment aren’t complex; they are hopelessly confused, uninformed, emotion-driven and worthless. The vast majority don’t know the history of impeachment. Most think Nixon was impeached. Most couldn’t tell you who Andrew Johnson was, much less explain why he was impeached. Most think that Bill Clinton was impeached because he was fooling around with Monica Lewinsky. Most don’t know what is impeachable conduct, whether conduct out of office is relevant to the issue, or whether the House can impeach a President for tweeting too much. They have no idea. None.

In fact, I am pretty sure the Democrats are counting on the public’s ignorance just as the news media is betting that it can mold the current confusion into an anti-Trump majority. They may have better luck herding cats.

22 thoughts on “Wait, WHAT? Somebody’s Incompetent Here, And I Don’t Think It’s Me.

  1. Several minds on impeachment:

    I am probably in the higher percentiles knowing Andrew Johnson was impeached and Nixon was not.

    Johnson was Lincoln’s attempt to placate Democrats by putting a Democrat on his ticket.

    It was a shrewd move politically, but was ultimately flawed as it failed to account for the possibility of Lincoln’s assassination.

    Republicans did not appreciate the Southern Democrat (Tennessee? Whatever. He was South enough.) taking the Presidency that the Republicans won.

    Johnson defied certain laws; he did not carry out things he should have (I knew and forgot these things). What I recall is some Minnesota representatives voted for impeachment and later regretted it upon reconsideration.

    Personally, I thought what Clinton did was impeachable. But, on reflection, should not have warranted impeachment.

    We are witnessing the aftermath of the folly of the Clinton impeachment.

    The true lesson is that if Nixon: impeachment is likely only warranted when the President knows he will lose. Nixon was only NOT impeached, because he knew he WOULD be.

    -Jut

    • Personally, I thought what Clinton did was impeachable. But, on reflection, should not have warranted impeachment.

      We are witnessing the aftermath of the folly of the Clinton impeachment.

      Jack Marshall started the Ethics Scoreboard in reaction to the Clinton impeachment saga.

    • That’s all about right. Johnson made things worse for himself and had no constituency, since he was a VP. As with Trump, Conress was actively looking for way to impeach and remove him, and the immediate method was a contrived, unconstitutional law, the Tenure of Office Act, that Johnson properly defied.

      Clinton had to be impeached. I’ll accept the argument that he shouldn’t have been convicted, but when a President commits act that would get any lawyer suspended of disbarred, he has to be punished. It may have been political folly to impeach him, but it was necessary.

      • Clinton had to be impeached. I’ll accept the argument that he shouldn’t have been convicted, but when a President commits act that would get any lawyer suspended of disbarred, he has to be punished. It may have been political folly to impeach him, but it was necessary.

        Have you compared how the media treated the impeachment of Clinton to how they treat the proposed impeachment of Trump?

    • Johnson was a senator from Tennessee, the only Senator from a seceded state who did not resign from the Senate. During the war, Lincoln appointed him military governor of Tennessee.

      He was put on the ticket to appeal to Democrats. He and Lincoln ran under the National Union Party ticket, not the Republican Party, in the hopes that Northern Democrats wanting to save the Union would help re-elect Lincoln. Johnson was a strict constructionist who argued that the South had never seceded so it was not required to be readmitted into the Union. He gave pardons to plantation owners and officers of the Confederacy, including Alexander H. Stevens (the Vice-President of the Confederacy) who were later re-elected to Congress by their constituency. Radical Republicans hated him for that and for moving slowly on Reconstruction policies meant to help freed slaves take their place in society.

      They wanted him removed from office over the Tenure of Office Act, as Jack mentioned, when Johnson tried to get rid of Secretary of War Edwin Stanton.

      • “Radical Republicans hated him for that and for moving slowly on Reconstruction policies meant to help freed slaves take their place in society.”
        There is ample evidence that the Radical Republicans cared little for helping the freed slaves, rather the freed slaves were just a useful implement to continue Republicans’ punishment of the South for having dared to oppose Northern political hegemony. Just as Lincoln used freeing the slaves to renew support for a long and unpopular war, the Radical Republicans used the freedmen to assure the continued support of the Northern abolitionists and created a reliable and easily manipulated bloc of new Republican voters.

        • I cannot agree with most of your points. For one thing, Grant and Sherman were hardly Radical Republicans yet they were the ones responsible for enforcing Reconstruction and trying to ensure civil rights for the freedmen. Ultimately the North lost the political will to do so.

          And yes the war was long and bloody. Unpopular, certainly, in some quarters. Let us never forget, though, that the men responsible for fighting and winning the war — the Union volunteers — voted with their lives to finish the war and restore the Union. Most of these three year volunteers re-enlisted in the spring of 1864. Many of those did not survive to see the end of the war.

  2. In fact, I am pretty sure the Democrats are counting on the public’s ignorance just as the news media is betting that it can mold the current confusion into an anti-Trump majority. They may have better luck herding cats.

    Have you compared how the media treated Clinton’s impeachment with this current campaign to impeach Trump?

  3. In fact, I am pretty sure the Democrats are counting on the public’s ignorance just as the news media is betting that it can mold the current confusion into an anti-Trump majority. They may have better luck herding cats.

    In many different ways one has to look at *systemic* factors to understand the function and the intended purpose of ‘dumbing down’. If once upon a time there existed in the US an education system that was first rate — I have read that in the 20s and into the 50s there were some very very good High Schools in the US with excellent education programs and these were, of course, based on the classical model: the Great Books — this cannot from what I understand be said to be true now.

    As I explained in a previous post: there has taken place a deliberate program of

    1) economically undermining the American worker and putting that worker, and those families, into severe and unending debt. Compound interest is an evil and once it is seen for what it is, the condition of debtedness of the majority of Americans can then be understood. The purpose, the strategy, is to design systems that impoverish, that reduce wealth, and it is basically theft.

    2) in the course of this impoverishment and economic undermining there have to be substitutes offered. If you will no longer live in a house of bricks or of wood then cardboard is what you will be offered. Just as there is economic impoverishment — a planned strategy that takes shape through reduction of buying power — there goes along with it intellectual impoverishment. It is absurd to imagine that as the economic foundation is weakened that, simultaneously, the education-centers will be strengthened and made better. No. You will be provided with mental cardboard, not with substance.

    America sold itself out.

    And the people who did this are ensconced within the system itself. They make as much ‘going up’ as ‘going down’ and as Bannon accurately says they manage the decline of America to their benefit.

    Now, that dull, dumbed-down Middle America — the original population and demographic of America, the sons and daughters of those who MADE America and the only ones who would and could maintain it — these people (taken on the whole) are in a weakened state. They have had the rug pulled out from under them. They have been tricked, lied to, manipulated and abused. This is fact. But because they were given *mental cardboard* to chomp on it must be said that they cannot think straight. They cannot organize their perception. Therefore: they cannot *see* and they cannot *understand* what has been done to them. That is, to the social body.

    This is ‘dumbing down’ and this is a managed process that fits together, in a whole pattern, that needs to be seen and understood. It is IMPERATIVE for the System I describe to keep a populist movement that has any political power at all from developing. The Democratic machinations, like a wold in sheep’s clothing, declares that it has the best interests of people in mind. This seems to be a profound lie. But who has the Republican Party really served over the years? If Steve Bannon’s analysis is correct — it sure seems to be — the Republicans are in their own way, and have been, vile traitors of the American worker.

    America sold itself out. There is no *evil empire* over there that needs to be attacked and decimated, and there are only policies, machinations and activism within America that reduce people to a condition more similar to slavery than to freedom.

    Underneath all the distorting rehearsals, which obfuscate and confuse (intentionally) there are some underlying facts about America and what has happened, and what is going on, and where this leads. These can be ferreted out. But that effort, today, is a form of dissidence. In order to tell the truth, one has to see the truth, but to see the truth means one must turn against the False Narratives to which one has wedded oneself. That is where *personal complicity* is a relevant concept.

    What the Democrats seem to be doing, in conjunction with the Media Systems and those who are capable of spinning the distorting narratives of the present, is continuing forward plans and activities that were put in motion through causal chains that go back decades into American time and history. And these plans and activities have eventuated in the present dumbed-down America. This is also a fact. I defy anyone to correct me on this.

    If Bannon is right [ https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CKuPYArH0Gs&t=7s ] it is an entrenched governmental and industrial system, working in concert and in cooperation, that has afflicted average people and certainly the American worker. And those people are the BASE of America and what makes America great. A properly founded popular movement is terrifying to a manipulative, lying, self-interested system and that System also can be known by another name: Deep State. That so-called Deep State is doing everything in its power to defeat a genuine populism. They will use any and all tools at their disposal. They regard such a popular movement quite the same as popular movements in foreign countries that they have successfully undermined through para-military action.

    There is a battle going on and its dimension and scope have to be seen with crystal-clarity.

    • Oddly, that Bannon interview is from Frontline: a PBS creation. Yet read some of the comments in the comments section: people say that they see themselves as having been ‘sold out’ either by RINOs or by DEMS.

      “Say what you will, this man is brilliant. His analysis of the tactics of the “renter” classes is spot on! The financial classes did not want inflation in the economy because it would cheapen their debt holdings. To achieve zero inflation they gutted t he unions, they moved production overseas and they got banking regulation weakened to zero, and they control the central bank. The middle class’s political power was vastly diminished. Now the financial groups have an oligarchy over the nation, they control both major parities and they write the laws to benefit their class. We need radical reform..”

      “The solution to North Africa is not in southern Italy” [Nor is the solution for Central America in the United States].

      “Bannon is brilliant and so so so underrated by so many…….respect!”

      “The media lies about this man. This guy is logical. I’m registered independent, but lean right. Bannon understands the cost/benefits of economics in general.”

      “Mandatory interview for anyone who wants to understand what’s going on in the world.”

      “Journalists of a certain persuasion keep calling this guy a ‘dark prince’ a ‘right wing radical’ a ‘nazi’ a ‘racist’ and more of those lovely terms. But those labels don’t hold up if you listen to him for just a few minutes. He’s just explaining the interests of certain parts of the US population. How is that crazy? It’s not, not in any way.”

      [Note that when this commenter refers to ‘a certain persuasion’, well, you know what he is referring to. One could summarize it as ‘the NY Intellectual Establishment’ and it is what stands behind the NYTs and its bizarre machinations. I say this because this is an opinion that is developing among wide groups of people as they make an effort to analyze, and understand, their situation and condition].

      “I grew up in a blue collar working class neighborhood. It was all about family and community. Neighborhoods lost out when jobs left. I understand where Steve is coming from. Jobs were easy to find without leaving the community. My own father worked 30 feet from where we lived. We had a business on every corner and a corner bar where men and women could unwind after a hard day at work. It was a great way to grow up. We felt safe. Neighbors all knew one another. This is what we lost. Without blue collar jobs, boys never grow into manhood.”

      So, if there is a dumbing-down process, and dumbing-down results in mental and economic slavery and impoverishment, let us begin to talk about what RECOVERY and RENOVATION is, in essence and in fact: getting smart and getting empowered to act creatively.

      • Aliza,
        Predictably, The PBS Frontline program for which the Bannon interview was conducted was an anti-Trump piece entitled “Zero Tolerance.” The program note explains,”FRONTLINE investigates how President Trump turned immigration into a powerful political weapon that fueled division and violence. The documentary goes inside the efforts of three political insurgents to tap into populist anger, transform the Republican Party and crack down on immigration.” I thought the interview was very informative and revealing. Facebook even let me share it!
        Also, I am interested in your reaction to the recent success of Germany’s AfD party. Do you see this as an aberration or a trend?

        • Honestly I have only focused in a general way on the various Right-Dissident parties of Europe, so I am not qualified to offer an opinion.

          I thought the Frontline interview, no matter what the producers intentions were, to be pretty good. Surprising really. To allow this man and his ideas to be seen.

    • 1) economically undermining the American worker and putting that worker, and those families, into severe and unending debt. Compound interest is an evil and once it is seen for what it is, the condition of debtedness of the majority of Americans can then be understood. The purpose, the strategy, is to design systems that impoverish, that reduce wealth, and it is basically theft.

      There once was a sin called ‘usury’.

  4. In fact, I am pretty sure the Democrats are counting on the public’s ignorance just as the news media is betting that it can mold the current confusion into an anti-Trump majority. They may have better luck herding cats.

    I think all recent impeachments and impeachment proceedings had this hallmark. Public ignorance is something both parties try to exploit. The Republicans had to face a largely hostile media in the Clinton impeachment, which was instrumental in making sure he was acquitted. The Democrats are hoping to use that same dynamic in this case, only in reverse.

    I am positive that the instant impeachment case is not about removing Trump. Oh, I have no doubt the Democrats would love to see that, but I also believe they understand the percentages of this in terms of likely outcomes is in the single digits.

    Their intent, which is revealed by their process, is simply to try to damage him sufficiently so that whichever of their radical candidates that emerge from the primary has a fighting chance to defeat him. This impeachment is all about the next election, not removing the president. They are hoping that the combination of spectacle and favorable media coverage, plus the possible faux pas by the Senate Republicans after he is impeached will help them in the upcoming election.

    I’m not sure they are self-aware enough, as a party, to understand their candidates and policies are all too flawed and unpopular to defeat Trump absent some kind of major intervention, but I suspect a good percentage are. Pelosi surely knows this, as does Hoyer. Every move made by the leadership has been calculated to damage Trump the candidate, not to make a genuine case for removal of a President.

  5. The general public only knows what it is told. We have often discussed how a large number of those who pay any attention to the “news” don’t read more than a paragraph or so beyond the headline, if that far. Most get it from social media, which is intentionally biased to the left, or from Comedy Central (for Christ’s sake!). Couple this with the deteriorated education system of the past generation (having graduated HS nearly 60 years ago, I may have only received a “flesh wound” there; I can still diagram a sentence) and it is no wonder that those polled offer some odd-ball answers; they have no idea their answers conflict with each other. They only parrot back that which they are told. Remember that meme about how polls in Spain and Portugal in 1491 were heavily in favor of the world being flat. That’s what they were told.

  6. My Public Policy concentration in grad school required me to take a few courses in applied statistics and survey analysis. Although I ultimately made only marginal use of this knowledge, I did learn that it is extremely hard to conscientiously construct and administer trustworthy, valid and accurate survey instruments and extremely easy to foolishly convince yourself that your results are trustworthy, valid and accurate. Hence, I am always skeptical of polls, by whomever conducted.

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