Rubin nails it again

https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/2020/01/22/how-are-senate-republicans-supposed-defend-their-impeachment-vote/

Conservative columnist asks a telling question. How can GOP Senators possibly defend a vote to acquit when challenged by voters, hometown journalists or a tough opponent? A trial without witnesses is not a trial. It is a cover-up. The President’s defense team is offering nothing but complaints, whining, obvious lies and name-calling.

As she sums it up . . .

“In sum, the “nothing matters, just lie” mode of politics only applies within the Trump cult. As soon as you leave the bubble to encounter voters, the media or opponents who know better, your talking points make you sound dumb or corrupt or both.

That is what Republicans should contemplate: How the heck am I going to defend this to the people back home? Trump’s attorneys are giving them no fig leaves or explanations that can pass the laugh test.”

30 thoughts on “Rubin nails it again

  1. The DEMs have made such a clear case for ousting the danger in the Oval Office it’s beyond believe that ANY person capable of logical independent thought is still be in a state of (cult) denial.

    The clear facts speak for themselves and the continued blocking of more revelations of the extortion scheme is, at this point, just embarrassing.

    Most of the American people are not as stupid as the GOP hopes, and the reckoning will be ugly.

    Liked by 3 people

  2. She has long standing conservative credentials as do many other conservatives who have been even stronger in denouncing Trumpism.

    Of course nowadays radicals, extremists, reactionaries, white nationalists etc. have tried to co-opt the word. I grant you, she is obviously not “conservative” as you would like to use the word.

    Liked by 4 people

    1. @Murphy

      No substantive push-back because, regardless of her conservatives credentials, she is accurate in her assessment.

      As a small “c” conservative I continue to be appalled (and somewhat entertained) by the flimsy and non-sensical defenses of the Criminal in Chief.

      While SAD it is only a matter of time…Tick, Tick, Tick…

      Liked by 4 people

    1. @Tahd

      Yeah, “conservative” is a word that a lot of people like so much so that it no longer denotes anything. But calling Rubin a “leftist woman” is so absurd as to throw all your commentary into disrepute.

      Liked by 3 people

  3. Let’s take Rubin’s so-called “pesky questions” one by one:

    • “Senator, Republicans keep saying Trump couldn’t be impeached unless charged with a crime, but didn’t Republicans’ own expert lawyer, Jonathan Turley, say that was wrong? (‘While I believe that articles of impeachment are ideally based on well-defined criminal conduct, I do not believe that the criminal code is the effective limit or scope of possible impeachable offenses.’)”

    No credible authority claims that a statutory violation is required. Some crimes are not defined in the criminal code. The idea that anyone is claiming the necessity of a criminal charge under statute is nothing but a straw man.

    • “Senator, can you really ask a foreign country to come up with dirt on a domestic rival? What if your opponent tried that in your election?”

    You can certainly ask a foreign country to investigate something. No one has shown that the president wanted dirt on a rival. This idea is a red herring.

    • “Why wouldn’t you allow witnesses and documents? How can that even be called a trial?”

    No one is preventing witnesses and documents. To say that they are is a lie.

    • “Senator, do you believe President Trump…was just trying to root out corruption in Ukraine? Why did he only mention Burisma and the Bidens in his call with Ukraine’s president?”

    First, get your facts straight: The president didn’t mention Busisma in his call.

    As for the question, the president’s interest in corruption in Ukraine was thoroughly justified, whatever the scope or specifics might have been

    • “Holding back aid to Ukraine broke the law, according to an independent government agency. Why did you think this was no big deal?”

    Because another equally “independent” government agency disagrees.

    • “Did the president do something wrong in holding up aid to Ukraine until he got political help from a foreign government? Should we just “’get over it’?”

    The president did nothing wrong in holding up aid. The claim that he did it to get political help is unsubstantiated and therefore, as already stated, a red herring.

    • “Why was the ‘ask’ from Ukraine an announcement of an investigation and not a real investigation? If the president thought something was wrong, why did he not go straight to the FBI?”

    The ask in the phone call was for an investigation That an “announcement of an investigation” was needed is just a presumption cooked up at the State Department. The announcement concept is just another straw man.


    Rubin’s column, and questions, show that she is an idiot at worst, a propagandist at best.

    Like

    1. @Roberts

      Your response to “Rubin’s column, and questions, show that [you are] an idiot at worst, a propagandist at best.”

      All of your responses to Rubin’s questions are either based on outright lies or utter gullibility.

      Particularly uninformed is your discussion of Burisima and Biden. In fact, it was the omission of that part of the discussion from the notes (there was no “transcript”) that greatly concerned Col. Vindman who testified to the fact they were omitted. And not by accident. His job was to review the notes and ensure they were complete and accurate. He caught the omissions and tried to put them back in. He was overruled.

      Liked by 3 people

      1. Col. Vindman testified that the transcript as published was substantially accurate, except for a couple of minor transcription errors.

        Like

        1. @Roberts

          Uh, no.

          You seem to have been fooled again. What WAS included may be “substantially accurate” but that says NOTHING about what was left out.

          Col. Vindman testified that he tried to include reference to the discussion of Biden and Burisma and was overruled.

          Why not man up and admit you were wrong. Trump DID discuss Biden and Burisma in that “perfect” call, there is no “transcript,” and the notes deliberately omitted up that part of the discussion.

          Liked by 3 people

        2. RE: “Why not man up and admit you were wrong.”

          The main reason is because I’m not wrong. You can read Vindman’s testimony here:

          https://apps.npr.org/documents/document.html?id=6543468-Alexander-Vindman-Testimony

          In it he says clearly that the transcript made public is not a word-for-word record of the call, nor was it meant to be, but that his own recommended edits for the record were all included, except two (of less than a dozen words) which he considered substantive. That is, Vindman concurs that the public transcript we have seen is largely accurate.

          Like

          1. @Roberts

            This is kind of sad. Did you read the transcript you provided? It appears not. Or maybe you just do not know when to stop fibbing?

            I refer you to pages 54 and 55 of the Vindman transcript where Vindman talks about those two substantive changes that he tried to make in those notes of the meeting. One was about the discussion of Biden and the other was about Burisma . . .

            A. There’s one other substantive item in the next paragraph from
            Zelensky, where it says, “He or she will look into the situation
            specifically to the company” it shouldn’t be “the company.” It
            should be “to Burisma that you mentioned.”

            Further down . . .

            Q. So this call record substitutes the following phrase, “the company that you mentioned in this issue, ” for what Zelensky said, “Burisma” ?
            A. Correct.
            Q. Okay.
            A. Again, it’s in my notes. That’s what I took down as the call was occurring.

            So, again why not man up and admit you were wrong? Trump DID discuss the Bidens and Burisma very specifically and it was camouflaged in the so-called “transcript.”

            Liked by 1 person

          2. RE: “Did you read the transcript you provided?”

            Yes, I did. I’m the one who mentioned to you that Vindman testified about two edits he recommended which he considered ro be substantive.

            What you don’t seem to grasp is that in the process Vindman described, his edits were adjudicated. Had other witnesses to the call, or other facets of the record known to those preparing it justified including the edits Vindman considered substantive, they would have been included, just as his non-substantive edits were. According to Vindman’s testimony, it was no big deal that his particular substantive edits were omitted in the final draft. That is to say, they may have been substantive, but they were not especially important.

            So what we have here is you trying to make a big deal out of a nothing burger. Rubin is wrong to have said the president mentioned Burisma in the call. Maybe he did, but the record doesn’t show it, and there is little reason to think it should.

            Like

          3. @Roberts

            If you read the transcript, which you did not, you did not understand it.

            Sure Vindman’s non-substantive edits were included. Why not? But his substantive ones where Biden and Burisma were discussed were left out. Just a coincidence? LOL! ANd then the “transcript” was given the Deep Six and were it not for the whistle blower would never have been seen again.

            Anyway, your claim was that Burisma was never brought up. It clearly was. You were either bamboozled or you are a bald-faced liar. Not third choice. Personally, I think you were bamboozled and probably believe the lies you spread.

            Liked by 1 person

    2. Let’s see:
      “No credible authority claims that a statutory violation is required. ” Dershowitz is more right today that he was in 1999 in saying that a statutory crime IS required. There goes your argument that he is credible.

      “You can certainly ask a foreign country to investigate something. No one has shown that the president wanted dirt on a rival.” Your spin, while admirable, is Trumpkin based gobbledygook. Why was no other name mentioned but Biden’s?

      “No one is preventing witnesses and documents. To say that they are is a lie.” At this point in the proceedings, that is exactly what McConnell has done. While the ability to call witnesses and documents is still available, the prevailing thought is that McConnell will do everything in his power to block them.

      “First, get your facts straight: The president didn’t mention Burisma [sic] in his call.” In the SUMMARY transcript that is correct. But until we see the FULK transcript of the call we can’t say one way or the other. He did only mention the Biden’s by name, according to the same summary. License is something Trump takes with the truth daily.

      “Because another equally “independent” government agency disagrees.” The OMB is NOT an independent agency. It works directly for the administration and is under the leadership of one Mick Mulvaney. Talk about red herrings.

      “The president did nothing wrong in holding up aid. The claim that he did it to get political help is unsubstantiated”.. SO says you and the GOP. However, until we hear from direct knowledge witnesses, for you to call it a red herring is disingenuous and as much a red herring as you claim it being unsubstantiated. And if he did nothing wrong in withholding the aid, why did it suddenly get released AFTER the whistle blower filed his complaint? The timeline is very telling wrt release of the aid.

      “That an “announcement of an investigation” was needed is just a presumption cooked up at the State Department. ” You mean Trump’s own State department? That is a good reason alone to hear from SecState Pompeo. Or was it Trump’s man in Ukraine, Rudy Giulani? Either way, referring to Trump’s own admin being a straw man says a lot about your thought process.

      Liked by 3 people

      1. RE: “Dershowitz is more right today that he was in 1999 in saying that a statutory crime IS required. There goes your argument that he is credible.”

        Dershowitz has never said such a thing. If you have a quotation to show that he did, let’s see it. Otherwise you’re just making things up.

        RE: “While the ability to call witnesses and documents is still available, the prevailing thought is that McConnell will do everything in his power to block them.”

        This is a joke, right? The amendments offered at the start of the trial were tabled not defeated. They may be reintroduced at any time.

        RE: “But until we see the FULL transcript of the call we can’t say one way or the other.”

        There’s no reason to expect the full transcript will differ in any significant way from the one we have. Col. Vindman, in fact, testified that the current draft is substantively accurate.

        RE: “The OMB is NOT an independent agency.” It is as “independent” as the GAO, which reports to Congress.

        RE: “However, until we hear from direct knowledge witnesses, for you to call it a red herring is disingenuous”

        By your own logic, until we hear from direct knowledge witnesses we have no substantiation of the president’s motives.

        RE: “You mean Trump’s own State department?”

        Sure, if you think that’s important. Trump’s own man, John Bolton, called the State Department’s pursuit of an announcement a “drug deal.”

        Like

    3. No mention of Burisma? Really?

      “ There’s a lot of talk about Biden’s son, that Biden stopped the prosecution and a lot of people want to find out about that so whatever you can do with the Attorney General would be great. Biden went around bragging that he stopped the prosecution so if you can look into it… It sounds horrible to me.”

      Were “a lot of people” talking about Hunter’s 7/11 franchise in Kiev? I thought he was on the board of Burisma. Geez, you learn something new every friggin’ day.

      “The documents include handwritten notes by Lev Parnas, a business associate of Trump’s lawyer Rudy Giuliani, that read “get Zalensky to Annonce that the Biden case will Be Investigated.” perhaps Bolton, et., al. could shed some light on Mr. “I never met the man” Parnas.

      As far as getting political help goes…well, let’s just say it was pretty obvious. When a mafia thug says “you have a real nice place here, shame if something were to happen to it”, he is not complementing your choice of decor and furniture. And speaking of Mafia, both Italian and Russian, Trump knows both quite well.

      https://www.politico.com/magazine/story/2016/05/donald-trump-2016-mob-organized-crime-213910

      A “made man” in the White House…who knew. Again, you learn something new all the time.

      Sigh.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. RE: “No mention of Burisma? Really?”

        No. The word Burisma doesn’t appear in the official transcript. Col. Vindman, who was on the call, believes it should have been, but his own testimony in the House describes a standard process for preparation of the transcript which ruled against his recommendation.

        Like

  4. Adam Schiff presented an out of context video clip, which suggests that Mr Trump believes that he has the right to do whatever I want as president. Of course, the actual context related to firing those who work for the executive branch.

    Now, obviously, something like that would never be allowed in a real trial, but think about it for a moment:

    A US Congressman knowingly and willingly presented a full-blown hoax to the US Senate and the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court!

    That is insanity!

    (The US Fedgov is a freakin’ joke.)

    Like

    1. @Thad

      Full blown hoax? Uh, no. This was not a single instance. Trump frequently claims that Article 2 gives him powers beyond measure. Just like a king.

      Furthermore, by defying lawful Congressional subpoenas and oversight he not only says it, he believes it. He thinks he is accountable to no one. He is wrong.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. LOL . . . Let me guess, you believe the “fine people” hoax, too, right?

        C’mon, don’t you know that most, if not all of the Senate is fully aware that firing Robert Mueller, is the context of Mr Schiff’s deceptively edited clip? Seriously, it might fool poor old dumb blind sheep, but it will not fool intelligent people (like Senators).

        Yesterday, the grotesque Nadler troll’s first step was step in it. He proceeded to insult so-called moderate GOPsters like Ms Collins, who Dems need to influence positively. Not only were his comments offensive to them, they did not go over well with Senate Dems or Judge Roberts either.

        Now, I do not doubt for a moment that you fully support these tactics. However, as long as the Nadler troll and the Schiffless one are the faces of your tribe, Mr Trump cannot lose.

        Like

  5. I left my 2016 ballot’s POTUS section blank because I disliked Donald Trump as much as I disliked Hillary Clinton…but for different reasons. The way things are shaping up now–looks like 2020 is going to be a repeat.

    IMHO?

    Since the House of Representatives couldn’t impeach our President for a high crime or misdemeanor? They impeached him for what I can easily compare to the UCMJ’s rather vague Article 134 (General) conduct prejudicial to good order and discipline; of a nature to bring discredit upon the Armed Forces; conduct constituting a non-capital crime.

    As much as I dislike President Trump? I don’t want to see that precedent set, because it will be applied to every President.

    Like

    1. RE: “As much as I dislike President Trump? I don’t want to see that precedent set, because it will be applied to every President.”

      Good thinking.

      Liked by 1 person

    2. @Craig

      “I can easily compare to the UCMJ’s rather vague Article 134 (General) conduct . . .

      You are awfully generous with your assessment. You seem to put zero weight on the fact that Ukraine was a strategic ally in a fighting war against the only country in Europe trying to re-write borders with military aggression. We cannot know how many Ukrainians paid with their lives during the months that vital military aid approved by Congress was blocked by a President stabbing them in the back in order to extort political favors. But, almost without doubt, there were some which is why our military and diplomatic professionals and several GOP Senators tried to get it released.

      Like

          1. @ Paul

            I’m not in the habit of accepting what any wonk (read: a person preoccupied with arcane details or procedures in a specialized field) opinion at face value) says or writes.

            Like

  6. @Craig

    Be that as it may there is still a very real difference between informed and misinformed opinion. Ultimately it is reality that counts in determining what is true – not what people believe or want to believe. IMHO.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. All opinions are equally valid.

      Opinions are not statements of scientific or mathematic facts. Rather they’re the individual’s expressions…based upon respective life-long experiences.

      If you (or I) hope to change the opinions of others? It’s best to refer to the idiom “You can catch more flies with honey than with vinegar.”

      My opinions have changed when calmly presented facts. It has yet to be changed by rhetoric.

      Now…if you’ll excuse my pending absence (meaning: more than likely will not check this blog in the immediate to near future)? I have, IMHO and those of SWMBO, more important things which must get done…no offense implied or intended.

      Liked by 1 person

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