My Standard Is Always the Same: Reverse the Roles, and How Would I Feel?

There’s honestly no better way to evaluate a political controversy than to ask yourself how you would feel if the roles were reversed.  Think power should be wielded more forcefully? How would you feel if your opponents were doing it in service of something you vehemently opposed? Think your opponents claims of corruption are unwarranted? How would you feel if you saw your opponents doing something nearly identical but in different circumstances? Flipping the script like that tends to clarify a lot of things while avoiding a whole lot of special pleading.

So that’s how I’ve been handling this whole Trump/Russia thing. If, for example, Hillary Clinton had been shown to be indirectly benefiting from Iranian interference in our electoral processes while also negotiating a lucrative deal with them for her foundation, how would I have felt? And how would her opponents have felt?

The answer to both questions is the same: white-hot outrage. My Republican friends know this about me, and this know this about themselves. What’s so sad is that how few of them are willing to apply this same standard in reverse. And in particular, how few of the Christians are will to do so. Because replace “Trump” with “Clinton” and “Russia” with “Iran” but keep all the other major details in the Mueller report the same and she would’ve been impeached so quickly your head wouldn’t even have time to spin.

So as I always say in moments like these: remember this. Remember that their principled-sounding arguments aren’t principled but situational. Remember that the standards they demand Democrats must adhere to when in power are standards that they cheerfully ignore when they hold the reigns. Remember this the next time Democrats are in power. Remember this and IGNORE THEIR ARGUMENTS while pursuing the greater good. Maybe one day they’ll be willing to work with us again in a network of trans-partisan norms and standards, but they are not willing to do so now. They broke the game, and it cannot be repaired until both sides want to repair it together. REMEMBER THIS and ACT APPROPRIATELY.

Source: Mueller report: winners and losers – Vox

“Pelosi’s freshmen fracture amid GOP pressure.” Or not at all, if you actually can read

Politico runs with the inevitable DEMOCRATS IN DISARRAY theme. Only…

Freshmen Democrats in swing districts say they have no plan to stop voting with the GOP when they feel the need. They’ve even been given the blessing to do so by House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (D-Md.) and Majority Whip Jim Clyburn (D-S.C.), despite resistance from Pelosi.
— Read on www.politico.com/amp/story/2019/02/14/house-democrats-freshmen-voting-gop-1169554

Yeah, sure. Clyburn and Hoyer are for it but Pelosi isn’t. She’s being outmaneuvered by her deputies and by Republicam leadership at the same time. Makes sense.

In other news, you wanna buy a bridge? I’ve got a really good deal for you if you actually!

For gods sake–this is exactly, precisely the story Pelosi would want told about these members in swing districts. They’re bucking leadership! They’re independent! They’re double-crossing Pelosi! And the worst part of it is, I’d be willing to bet that at least one of the reporters on this story knows that’s what’s going on.

Stop it. Stop. It.

If we vote to overturn it, he will veto it. If we cannot overturn the veto, we will go to court. And if we lose in court, we will use the powers to advance our goals. That’s both a promise and a threat.

Behind closed doors, Republicans understand they are setting a vast new precedent. Fine. At a minimum, this exposes a vast hypocrisy in their approach to “limiting the size of government and defending the constitution.” That on its own is a major victory for the Democratic Party.

But should all this eventually go sideways…should the courts actually uphold this nonsense, then we as a party need to be crystal clear about how we will use these powers to our own ends. And not later. Now, during the campaign. Make it the direct and explicit consequences of supporting this nonsense, and do so in unambiguous terms.

www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/2019/02/25/i-support-trumps-vision-border-security-i-would-vote-against-emergency/

House Democrats moving to force Senate Vote on Emergency Declaration

Speaker Nancy Pelosi is throwing her muscle behind a legislative effort to block President Donald Trump’s national emergency declaration, the first formal step to counter Trump and squeeze Republicans on the border wall.

Democrats will introduce legislation Friday to terminate the emergency proclamation and Pelosi is urging House colleagues on both sides of the aisle to support the resolution, according to a letter obtained by POLITICO on Wednesday.

Politico: https://politi.co/2Ng9FRg

Once this passes the House, the Senate will be forced to vote on it. There are thirty-four seats up for grabs in 2020, so this will be the first truly consequential vote for each of the following Senators: https://ballotpedia.org/United_States_Senate_elections,_2020

Alabama Democratic Party Doug Jones
Alaska Republican Party Dan Sullivan
Arizona Republican Party Martha McSally
Arkansas Republican Party Tom Cotton
Colorado Republican Party Cory Gardner
Delaware Democratic Party Chris Coons
Georgia Republican Party David Perdue
Idaho Republican Party Jim Risch
Illinois Democratic Party Dick Durbin
Iowa Republican Party Joni Ernst
Kansas Republican Party Pat Roberts
Kentucky Republican Party Mitch McConnell
Louisiana Republican Party Bill Cassidy
Maine Republican Party Susan Collins
Massachusetts Democratic Party Ed Markey
Michigan Democratic Party Gary Peters
Minnesota Democratic Party Tina Smith
Mississippi Republican Party Cindy Hyde-Smith
Montana Republican Party Steve Daines
Nebraska Republican Party Ben Sasse
New Hampshire Democratic Party Jeanne Shaheen
New Jersey Democratic Party Cory Booker
New Mexico Democratic Party Tom Udall
North Carolina Republican Party Thom Tillis
Oklahoma Republican Party Jim Inhofe
Oregon Democratic Party Jeff Merkley
Rhode Island Democratic Party Jack Reed
South Carolina Republican Party Lindsey Graham
South Dakota Republican Party Mike Rounds
Tennessee Republican Party Lamar Alexander
Texas Republican Party John Cornyn
Virginia Democratic Party Mark Warner
West Virginia Republican Party Shelley Moore Capito
Wyoming Republican Party Mike Enzi

This right here is what I expected from a Pelosi Speakership, and it’s why all those calls  for an alternative were always so misguided

When I wrote my last post earlier today, I honestly didn’t expect to see it happen so quickly and from the very highest level of the party. Bravo, Madam Speaker. Bravo.

“A Democrat president can declare emergencies as well,” Pelosi said at her weekly press conference, as news broke that Trump would sign a bipartisan spending deal to keep the government open but also take executive action on the border.

Pelosi is playing to some Republicans’ biggest fears around executive power: that a Democratic president would push through policies on everything from health care to gun control through the White House instead of Congress, should Trump lose the presidency in 2020.

“If the president can declare an emergency on something he has created as an emergency — an illusion that he wants to convey — just think what a president with a different set of values can present to the American people,” Pelosi said. “The precedent that the president is setting here is something that should be met with great unease and dismay by the Republicans.”

Source: Trump’s national emergency sets a new precedent for Democrats, Pelosi says – Vox

Run BetoRun! For Senate:

Beto O’Rourke met with Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) last week to discuss taking on Sen. John Cornyn (R-TX) in 2020, according to a Wednesday Politico report.

Cornyn is seen as vulnerable after O’Rourke’s surprisingly competitive bid against Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) in 2018. The senator has already amassed the largest war chest of any of his peers.

“We’ve gotten complacent,” Cornyn told Politico. “The tectonic plates shifted in Texas in 2018 and I think everybody realized we need to do something different and to address those concerns or else we’re in trouble.”

O’Rourke is expected to make a decision on a possible presidential bid by the end of this month.

SOURCE: talkingpointsmemo.com/news/beto-meets-with-schumer-to-talk-2020-senate

What James Madison has to say to us about the politics of the shutdown

As you read Fallows’ take on the shutdown from James Fallows and his readers, keep in mind James Madison’s institutional design:

Ambition must be made to counteract ambition. The interest of the man must be connected with the constitutional rights of the place. It may be a reflection on human nature, that such devices should be necessary to control the abuses of government. But what is government itself, but the greatest of all reflections on human nature? If men were angels, no government would be necessary. If angels were to govern men, neither external nor internal controls on government would be necessary. In framing a government which is to be administered by men over men, the great difficulty lies in this: you must first enable the government to control the governed; and in the next place oblige it to control itself.

A dependence on the people is, no doubt, the primary control on the government; but experience has taught mankind the necessity of auxiliary precautions.

And now, to James Fallows’ readers:

Donald Trump became accustomed to Congressional servility over the last two years; and he clearly expected to extort the same attitude going forward, as if the Republican defeat in the 2018 elections never happened….

It was necessary to demonstrate to Trump and his supporters that conditions have changed, and that the governing process is going to be different — including the futility of attacking government itself as a means of achieving political goals.  That lesson will be essential for future issues, including appropriations bills and the debt limit.  

[…]

Mitch definitely doesn’t have Trump’s political survival as his top priority. He has his own political survival as his top priority.

SOURCE: http://www.theatlantic.com/notes/2019/01/the-shutdown-was-the-price-of-trumps-tuition/581398/