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January 27, 2020 · OPINION

We increasingly have grown desensitized to impropriety

Photo/Senate TV
Chief Justice John Roberts administers the oath to senators before the impeachment trial Thursday, Jan. 16.
By Kathryn Kadilak
The Plains

And so, this is how far we have fallen: We have a president who willingly admits that he used the power of his office to withhold congressionally-appropriated funds to a foreign country. Funds vital to that country’s defense against an encroaching enemy.

The pressure was brought to bear for the president’s own purposes — to force that country to investigate (and, hopefully, damage the reputation of) a political rival. We have a Senate majority who willingly turns away from the truth to exonerate this president, in a blatant example of party over country and over their sworn oath to uphold our nation’s Constitution.

I ask you this: if this were Hillary Clinton and this were a Democratic Senate majority, how would you feel? Would you be outraged? Would you scream, “FOUL”? Would you demand justice? If you answer yes to these questions, then ask yourself why you aren’t outraged right now.

I submit to you that the president and the party in question aren’t the only problem we have. We have descended into a society so cynical, so desensitized to impropriety, that we no longer care about truth, honor and an impartial review of actual (not “alternative”) facts. Instead, we like to be entertained. We think that a government run like a massive version of reality TV is a good thing, and we applaud obstruction and bullying.

So, I have moved on from angry to demoralized. I can only pray that somehow goodness, integrity and light will prevail and deliver us all from this ominous time.
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Jeffersonian American · February 21, 2020 at 9:19 am
The last U.S. President to wage a secret war against Communists which had become embedded in the highest levels of our Government was General Dwight D. Eisenhower. President Eisenhower characterized in very stark terms the danger of the internal Communist threat to America in 1953 in a classified memo to his Attorney General:

“The Communists are a class set apart by themselves. Indeed, I think they are such liars and cheats that even when they apparently recant and later testify against someone else for his Communist convictions, my first reaction is to believe that the accused person must be a patriot or he wouldn’t have incurred the enmity of such people. So even when these “reformed” Communists have proved useful in helping us track down some of their old associates, I certainly look for corroborating evidence before I feel too easy in my mind about it… But I also believe that anyone who, after the blockade of Berlin began (or some other equally revealing incident), continued to speak in support of the Soviets or in terms of sympathy for them, is either very stupid or very dangerous.”

But to address several of your specific concerns raised in your article (beyond the standard "Democrat Good- Republican Bad" modern political tantrum), let’s look at our current situation in America another way, shall we?

One of the most distinguished scholars of our time observes it is no secret that America is coming apart. In 1960, the U.S. was at the height of its prosperity and prestige. Although the size of a continent, it was unified by a common language and a common Anglo-Protestant political, moral and religious culture. To protect that culture, immigrants from Western Europe were favored as being the easiest to assimilate. When populations from Eastern Europe and Russia seemed to unbalance that culture, immigration was virtually shut down for some 40 years to allow assimilation.

It resumed in 1965 but with some 90 percent of immigrants coming from the third world. America, it was said, should “look like the world.” This occurred with the rise of political correctness and its charge that America is structurally a white supremacist society. Immigrants were encouraged to retain their culture. And immigration laws were not substantially enforced. By some estimates the number of illegal immigrants could be as high as 20 million. If so, that is more than all the Germans, Italian, Irish, and Jews who immigrated in the past 400 years.

The result has been an ethnic demographic revolution unequaled anywhere in the world. In 1960, 85 percent of Americans were white, 11 percent black, and Hispanics were a mere 3.5 percent. The estimates today are that by 2040 whites will be a minority of around 47 percent, Hispanics will be 30 percent, and blacks will be 13 percent. The great majority of Hispanics are from Mexico. Of all immigrant groups, Mexicans are at the bottom in education, entrepreneurship, desire to assimilate, or even to seek citizenship. (CONTINUED NEXT POSTING)
Jeffersonian American · February 21, 2020 at 9:16 am
(CONTINUED): In California and South Florida, there are Hispanic communities totaling 3 million each where 66 percent speak Spanish on a regular basis. Each community is the size of Uruguay or larger than Lithuania. Arabic is an official language in Michigan. In time, these could be independent states. Thirty percent of Dearborn, Michigan is Islamic, and there is persistent demand for the incorporation of Sharia Law. Some two hundred languages are taught in Chicago schools (and over 160 languages are spoken in Fairfax County, Virginia Public Schools). In every county and state across America, our public schools from K-12 are nothing more that Radical Left Government Indoctrination Centers infecting the dangerous cancers of Marxism, Globalism, Multiculturalism, Diversity Awareness (“Celebrating Our Differences”) into the young impressionable minds of our American youth, in addition to teaching generations of young American-born students to be ashamed of the essential truths of their American and Southern heritage- and the suicidal notion that all of our American heritage is something to be despised instead what it actually was and is- a beacon of hope to the world which came from Thomas Jefferson’s Declaration of Independence and the classical liberal concept of Natural Law rights and the right to self-determination- a document which, championed by the sacrifices of our American founders and Patriots (and subsequently, by the Confederate States of America and the War for Southern Independence descended from our "Principles of 1776") all of which led to our liberty and freedom to establish our American Republic, and which marked the end of several thousand years of human darkness, serfdom and feudalism.

Much of what the author’s article and posters here decry are the fruits of the now mainstream mantra that America is a “multi-cultural” society, that “diversity” is our strength, Government as centralized force where the privileged elite dictate what is best for the mass of individual, sovereign citizens, and the like. To this should be added, the implacable struggle between Red and Blue states for control of central power. After Bush defeated Gore in 2000, Blue state Democrat pundits raised the question of secession. This sentiment has filtered down to the public. In 2008, a Zogby poll found that 22 percent of Americans believed a state has a right to secede. In a 2018 Zogby poll, that number had jumped to 39 percent with 29 percent not sure. That means 68 percent of Americans are willing to consider secession. Francis Bellamy, who created the Pledge of Allegiance to the Flag, recorded that it was designed to explain the meaning of the War of 1861-65 which he said, “reduced to three words: ‘one nation indivisible.’” Today, a majority of Americans are open to scrapping the “indivisible” part. The debate on dividing the United States that has long been massively out of human scale and size after Mr. Lincoln’s bloodiest conflict of the 19th Century to create an American empire- and the subsequent destruction of any true representative government originally envisioned by our American Founders- is underway.

The only thing that keeps me, as a paleo-conservative, from the bitter anger of witnessing our beloved country move from the leadership and competence of our last truly great American President, Dwight Eisenhower, to a period 59 years later, over the Long March through our local, State and Federal Governments and academic institutions (which gave rise to the idiocy of the Bolshevik Left and the current fatal course and speed of our country and its looming economic and social disentegration) is the fact that my faith isn't in government and this world isn't my home. And that's a whole lot more hope than most Democrats in our community and across our nation have. Each of us should remember the ultimate revenge against tyranny and the truly disturbing damage to our country inflicted by U.S. Presidents in my lifetime- be it the vile corruption of the Kennedy/Johnson era, the Clintons, and exponentially, by the ascension of the documented (and undocumented) Committed Marxist, Barack Hussein Obama Barry Soetoro. That ultimate revenge is to lead as good and noble a life as possible with your family, friends and loved ones in our corner of Virginia and our country. After all, even the Christians led good and noble lives during the fall of ancient Rome.
CalHickey · February 4, 2020 at 10:43 am

Where in any of Cammie Rodgers' expressed viewpoint is there any intention of her, my, or anybody else's usurpation of anyone else's parental authority?

She is merely making the historically valid observation that as generation succeeds generation, for good or ill, the values of those doing the parenting are inevitably inculcated and deepened in the lives of the children.

The stable state is an illusion. Coarseness gives license to increasing coarseness. Empathy gives license to increasing empathy.
DonkeyFarmer · February 2, 2020 at 11:41 pm
You guys want Cammie Rodgers deciding how you should raise your child?
Cammie Rodgers · February 1, 2020 at 4:48 pm
Cammie Rodgers · February 1, 2020 at 4:47 pm
CalHickey - I'm with you, what is being allowed and encouraged to happen in the United States is ill conceived and dangerous.

We will survive this stomach turning course of human events, betting we come out on the other side, not unscathed but definitely scarred. There are more of us then them, the course, uneducated, reality star wanna-be's. They are dropping like flies from ill health and bad decisions.

It's the children of these people that I feel for and fear for, what bad examples of responsible human beings to have to call family or friends.
Cammie Rodgers · February 1, 2020 at 4:36 pm
My nieces and nephews call me by my first name, not Aunt Camelia. What's with that? And what happened to please, thank you, and excuse me?

Don't blame the kids, blame the parents. We were in the grocery store today, in walked a young couple with a little baby, both parents reeked of cigarette smoke, were they smoking in the car? That baby gets sick and they want to know why? Crap on a stick, are people really that dense and self-centered (and addicted) that they don't even care that that child is breathing toxins?
CalHickey · January 31, 2020 at 12:08 pm

I'm not particularly sensitive in comparison to any other personality trait.

Over the course of my career I've had to make many decisions and taken actions that have inflicted life-and-death consequences on untold numbers of people and places. I did not and do not take the responsibility for any of those decisions and actions lightly, but that never deterred me from my course once I was convinced of the necessity. Nevertheless, people have died and the labor of human hands has been destroyed by my decisions and actions. It is a simple consequence of the fact that life in this far less than perfect world often presents us with the unavoidable situation of making a choice for what we apprise to be the least bad of two or more options.

Federal judge Amy Berman Jackson recently said, "Politics don't corrupt people. People corrupt politics."

In its simplest manifestation politics is what happens when two people, each with their independent wills, interact... regardless of whether they are in complete agreement or of polar opposites on any issue, big or small. You and I are conducting politics right now in the exchange of these comments.

The crux of this rests on the inescapable reality that as human beings we have freedom of choice. We can choose to listen to our "better angels" or to succumb to our basest impulses. We are accountable... the Nuremburg Defense has been thoroughly and conclusively repudiated.

Whereas politics is neutral, it just exists as a fact of life, there is nothing inherent in politics that makes it basely immoral. It does not force us into some mold to make us saints or sinners. We, and we alone, bring to politics those words and acts that make the outcomes immoral or honorable.

And, in that regard there is absolutely nothing uniquely inherent to politics that segregates it from the rest of life, where qualities like empathy, morality, decency, respect, honesty, trustworthiness, etc. really do matter.

Moreover, I contend that since politics is so much a core element of our individual, interpersonal and even national lives that it demands even greater care for the nurturing of these noble qualities. Not the least because history has shown us time and again, without fail, that when a society's politics becomes "infected" the society soon fatally succumbs. And that is my deepest fear when I survey the state of our Union today.

In conclusion, to bring this down to practical consequences, any parent will tell you that children learn far more by observing than by listening. Can our children grow up to value honesty when we tacitly endorse dishonesty at the highest office of our nation? Can our children grow up to value faithfulness and trustworthiness when we tacitly endorse self-serving transactionalism in our leaders? Can our children grow up to be caring compassionate adults when we applaud physical and verbal brutality inflicted by the powerful upon the powerless?

Can a society long survive when children grow to adulthood having learned such lessons as a result of observing their parents actions that reveal what they truly value, regardless of whatever they may have said to the contrary?

Yes, I am sensitive, but you obviously do not understand what engenders my sensitivity.

All told I served my country for 38 years. My country is not perfect and never will be perfect, but it has within its core tenets the expressed will to be "more perfect"... to bend the arc of history to what is right and good.

I fiercely believe in that responsibility as the essential price of American citizenship.
DonkeyFarmer · January 30, 2020 at 10:54 pm
Wow, CalHickey. Quite a response/introduction. I feel I know more about you than my last girlfriend.

I'm just a random guy on the internet to you. To say you are a bit sensitive would be an understatement. I understand now why Trump might bother you.

Politics might not be for you. It's a mean place. If you are looking for morals in a politician you are not going to find it. Trump at least insults them in the open. The other ones are just as vicious they just stab you in the back.

I wish you well. Vaya con Dios.

CalHickey · January 30, 2020 at 1:50 pm

I've never been registered as either a Democrat or a Republican.

My views on issues lean in very distinctly traditional conservative directions, e.g. debt is bad, trade is good, alliances are to everyone's benefit, the dignity and right of self determination of the individual is paramount, the hallmark of American greatness is exemplified by the extent to which we have benefited from our experiment in self-governance and thus we have an obligation to lead the world community in the honoring of these principles. As a result of these sentiments probably three quarters of the time I voted for the Republican standing for office... but not because of their party affiliation, instead because I preferred their perspectives on issues of concern to me.

I was educated in the physical sciences (cartography, geography and geology) where I was taught above all else that if your methodologies for collecting and analyzing data pass intensely rigorous review then you must respect where the data takes you... no matter how much you may not prefer to go there. Thus, history has demonstrated that whenever science is directed by political or ideological interests the inevitable results are always regrettable, if not catastrophic.

I served thirty years as an officer in the United States Air Force, retiring in the rank of Colonel. Throughout my career more than anything else I was guided by a simple dictum I learned as an AFROTC cadet: an officer's first imperative is to set the tone for the unit under his/her command, and equally important an officer at any level of command must delegate authority to subordinates, but the officer can never delegate responsibility... your people accomplish the mission and you are responsible for them and everything they do. You don't worry about your success... your only concern is your peoples' success.

Finally, and most importantly, I am an evangelical Christian. I hold Christ as my Lord and Savior. I value all of Scripture as the unassailable Word of God. For nearly fifty years it has been a light unto my feet and a lamp illuminating my path... and even though I've experienced my fair share of difficult times my trust in His Word has always been vindicated and, as I approach the waning decades of my life it is more precious to me than ever.

With all that said and as the life experiences that have shaped my worldview, it is not upset over Hillary Clinton's loss that has plunged me into "...the longest temper tantrum in recorded history."

It is the degradation and degradation of these truths that shaped me into the person I am today by a president who daily mocks truth, empathy and basic standards of human decency that have so deeply offended me.

You can call my position on Trump partisan rock-throwing and sour grapes, sir, but you are thoroughly wrong in that regard.
Jim Griffin · January 30, 2020 at 1:30 pm
Running people off the site? Really? I come here in because I like a good argument -- but I absolutely reject name calling and petty BS like yours.

Tell DF all about the carpetbaggers from LA that come to VA. The difference between the liberals and the right wingers is generally the name calling and personal attack. In fact, I disagreed with something Silii wrote on this thread.
Jim Griffin · January 30, 2020 at 9:33 am
DF: Sincere apologies for my presumptions, made in pursuit of middle ground that seems present already. All in the spirit of good discourse.

Agreed that we're looking for morality in all the wrong places if we seek it from politicians, though some wave morality as if it were a flag.

Also agreed on Roe, though there do seem rare, tragic cases arise where viability is clearly questionable. Sad tragedies.
DonkeyFarmer · January 30, 2020 at 9:27 am
JG- I was not refering to you in my posts. You come across as pretty reasonable. I think we want the same things. I even think Linda is a decent person that wants the same things I do. The problem is attacking the "morality" of President Trump as if ANY politician is moral or good. Yes, call him out on it. But to impeach and remove a President for bad words is ridiculous.

You bring up abortion (I didn't) so I will respond briefly. I agree with Roe V Wade. I have studied it. The court broke pregnancy down into 3 trimesters. The first trimester should not have any government restrictions for many reasons I won't get into here. I believe in staying out of others business. Roe V Wade does not allow for killing a baby up to the moment of birth as Northam has advocated and Del. Tran tried to get passed in Virginia.

The lyrics to me describe this impeachment trial. Both parties. In theatre when things are going bad you send in the jokesters, or the clowns.
Jim Griffin · January 30, 2020 at 7:52 am
DF: Not sure about last night's 10:21 pm lyrical attempt, nor what you intended, but speaking for myself I did not vote for HRC and contrary to your claim am not "simply upset Hillary lost."

I am sad we the people lost the potential for sweeping change -- dashed with the arrival of Jeff Sessions, a realization DJT reached quickly. It was a big mistake, unlike his immediate rejection of the Trans-Pacific Partnership agreement, which I applauded. I had thought he might prove an agent of constructive change.

Instead, the debt and deficit more than doubled after he promised to eliminate them. Not a complete surprise -- he's bankrupted businesses, tax losses he's ridden for years and wishes to keep buried in his hidden tax returns. We should not let reckless spending bankrupt the USA.

Neither did we know he'd embrace Russia and North Korea. Nor were we made aware of his beefs with the Pentagon.

I respect you, DF, but I suspect you've permitted the ends to justify the means, a mistake we all make. Here the ends include big govt extending its hand into the doctor-patient relationship with women's health decisions. Current policy was set by a Republican-led court in Roe v Wade, a conservative court that properly curtailed the role of government.

My guess is you want change so very much in this area that you are willing to permit all manner of malfeasance in the Oval Office. I am OK with the current conservative policies of keeping govt out of these decisions, especially at the beginning and end of life, with full respect for stare decisis (rule of law by precedent).

I also respect those who, like you, take the other side of the issue, but note that current policies do not force people to make any choice other than the one they wish about reproduction and contraceptives. It's Supreme Court precedent. It should continue for the conservative reasons the decision was made.

If I shared your passion for this change sought I might agree with you and tolerate the problems generated, but I do not and cannot. Like at least half the country, I disagree, and find the events in the Ukraine -- where Russians are attacking the country's sovereignty (apparently with our help) -- illegal, distasteful and a disgrace to our flag.
DonkeyFarmer · January 29, 2020 at 10:21 pm
Isn't it rich?

Isn't it queer?

Losing my timing this late, in, my, career.

But, where are the clowns?

There ought to be clowns!

Well, maybe next year.
DonkeyFarmer · January 29, 2020 at 10:09 pm
CalHickey- Is there something we can do to help you through this? Can I set up a Go Fund Me for you? Every time this President tweets I feel a terrible pain in my heart. I curl up in a ball and cry. You are not alone.
DonkeyFarmer · January 29, 2020 at 10:01 pm
You guys, claiming the moral high-ground. As if Donald Trump is a monster for tweeting bad words. Forgeting we had a President that was bending interns over in the Oval Office. That was selling the Lincoln Bedroom. That was taking china with them when they left office. Dignity respect and morals left Washington about 150 years ago.

Trump is a big loudmouth. Brash. Bombastic. He exaggerates. He's a new york guy. In the legal world it's called puffing. A used car salesman can say it's the finest car east of the Mississippi. Nobody takes him literally.

You guys are simply upset Hillary lost. Get over it. Good God this has been the longest temper tantrum in recorded history.

The most honest person running is Bernie Sanders. I don't agree with him but he says what he believes. Hillary cheated him out of it in 16. Let's see what happens here.
CalHickey · January 29, 2020 at 6:13 pm
Well said, Kathryn.

I served my country in uniform and civil service for more than 38 years. Watching every principle I strove to uphold throughout my career debased and degraded over the past three years has been heartbreaking.

One day we will emerge from this dark passage and I pray that our country will take valuable lessons about participatory citizenship and true patriotism for having gone through the experience.
No to northam · January 29, 2020 at 5:02 pm
Slow your role linda,
I do not fall under any of your examples below and those that do make me sick when we have to pay for them.

I work 50-60 +hrs a week and pay my taxes, am a gun owner so obviously can pass a background check and have zero record unless you call a speeding ticket a record. As for "benefits again thats a zero here as well .. i pay my way and my families way. We have a huge distaste for the low lifes that do not earn their way in life.

Sounds like we may have more in common than you think~

No free rides in life

Like i said i dont support Trump catering to israel and they are the cause for.most of our wars if not all so dont agree with our finest having to die for their wars let.aline anyone who backs out of fighting for our country.
Linda Ward · January 29, 2020 at 3:04 pm
No to Northam - On second thought, you or yours would most likely not even be able to qualify to serve this country. Criminal records, obesity, health problems, drug issues, the list goes on and on. Are you one of the 45% of people in this country that don't even pay their share of taxes because you can't get or keep a job?

I want to know WHY those of us that have worked our whole lifetime, served in the military, pay our taxes, and stay out of trouble, volunteer in our communities, have to pay for your "benefits"????
Linda Ward · January 29, 2020 at 2:45 pm
No to northam - Remind who was it that took 5 (FIVE) deferments from serving in Vietnam? He didn't fight THEN and he is only fighting for HIMSELF and his FRIENDS now.

Solving things diplomatically is being a "snowflake", it's avoiding another possible world war. Is that what you and Trump supporters REALLY WANT? What happens when they come calling for you or your children to SERVE your country? Do you have a RICH Daddy and a corrupt doctor to sign off on you or yours being ineligible?
No to northam · January 29, 2020 at 12:52 pm
Other than his bowing down is israel i am bery happy with Trump and ge is working miracles for our country.

Its the left wing that bitches and hines about everything that cannot except that Americans are 100 times better than we were with the commie before Trump.

The anti trymp left has gotten so far left they cant pull theirs heads far enough out of their a** so get over it and realize how good he is for is.

Seems like everyone wants a snowflake coward for a president that will turn the other cheeck instead of fighting for what is right.
Linda Ward · January 29, 2020 at 12:28 pm
No to northam - If Trump is our only hope we are SCREWED as a democracy and nation.
No to northam · January 29, 2020 at 11:55 am
The same issues were present when the rapist known as Bill Clinton wa sin the white house, and killer would have done a hell of a lot worst than what they accuse Trump of ..after her bengazi murders of Americans and scandle after scandle i can imagine how bad off we would be.

Trump 2020 is the only hope to keep America great !
Silii · January 29, 2020 at 11:43 am
Jim, Trump now calls his base "deplorables" with the true meaning of the word. It has nothing to do with Hillary except that Trump remembers that word. In private, he agrees with the true meaning. It shows that Trump has no respect or interest whatsoever in much of his base. He's cagey enough to use them at his rallies - showing off, lying, acting like a tough guy, using more and more offensive profanity, etc., so they think he likes them. In reality, he's jerking them around and has done nothing to help them during his term in office. In fact, for the lower income base, he has cut SNAP and he is looking to severely cut medicare and medicaid. He has stolen funds from our military to build his border wall and the military members most affected are the low paid enlistee families living in substandard housing; many of them qualify for SNAP and Headstart for their kids.
Linda Ward · January 29, 2020 at 9:53 am
DF- "You are just an angry person that hates Trump."

Let's look at this another are just an angry person who hated Obama. I don't hate the person, I hate the deeds he has perpetrated upon this country. You know as well as I do that he has NO moral standing or reputation. He is raiding the US Treasury and making deals that benefit HIM not the American people. Ask any farmer or small business owner that had to file bankruptcy last year, with more to come this year. Will we have to agree to disagree.
Jim Griffin · January 28, 2020 at 10:12 pm
The media and your opponents always seem tough on you. It is their job.

Trump's fate is unclear. If he is not convicted by the Senate (and that seems a likely, partisan outcome), he will lose in November. As goes Virginia, so will go the nation. Trump is not doing well in the four or five deciding states and his overall performance as gauged by nationwide opinion polls is not indicative of success.

It is not an attempt to undo an election, it is standard constitutional fare, as much as are gun rights. Neither are disgusting, authored as they were by the founders of our country. Impeachment and trial are not required to be bi-partisan efforts else it would be in the constitution.

I very much admire your advocacy and electoral positioning. Persistence may win the day, but I don't think it will make a difference here unless Trump were to man up, walk to the Senate and testify with his officials (present and ex-) and walked back to his office and directly set the situation straight, starting with an epiphany-style budget reconciliation and progressing to improve relations with the Defense and State Departments.

In other words, real leadership. No more duck and cover excuse-making. He is supposedly a no-nonsense businessman and we all expected him to shrink the deficit instead of blow it up beyond all reasonable proportion.

Treating women better would be another affirmative step, but this is likely a lost cause. His only hope is to restore our financial house, pulling us back from the brink of an almost certain crash; This too may be too late.
Demosthenes · January 28, 2020 at 10:00 pm
DF, helps us all understand. Can you tell us which crimes Bill committed in office that Trump is not also guilty of?
DonkeyFarmer · January 28, 2020 at 9:41 pm
I was against the Clinton impeachment. But at least Clinton committed crimes. I didn't even like Trump when I voted for him... But after seeing how he has been treated but the left and the media, I am a supporter.

Trump will another 4 years. The left will continue their temper tantrum. Alienate their friends and neighbors over politics. Attack people in restaurants. Scream at their uncle at Thanksgiving. Scream at three sky in November. But Trump will win. He will put 2 more in the Supreme Court. He will completely remake the Federal Bench. And that is what matters.

Not 1 Republican voted for impeachment. Democrats even lost a few votes. They even lost a house member from New Jersey. We have Democrat Senators that are going to vote against conviction. When you have 1 party only voting to impeach that is not an impeachment, that is an attempt to undo an election. Disgusting.
Demosthenes · January 28, 2020 at 9:20 pm
Matthew - You bring up a really tricky subject. But as someone in the middle paying attention to all of this I think I can explain where we are at.

At this point Democrats and moderates see Trump as the worst possible choice to lead our nation. So from the Democrat point of view, the most important thing is to make sure that we end up with someone else, anyone else, in our highest office.

I know plenty of liberals who would be happy to see Trump step down and Pence take over. While liberals don't agree with Pence's policies, it is enticing to think that under his leadership we would at least see a president who approached the job of the presidency with the respect it deserves.

Assuming Trump stays in office and we find ourselves with a Trump vs. Democratic nominee contest in November, Democrats really want to win that one.

Now, if we go back to 2016, we see that Clinton, who was truly moderate in her policies compared to many of today's Democrat front-leaders, failed to beat Trump. She had a lot of issues and baggage which might have played a part too. But in the end people didn't show up to vote for her.

The traditional wisdom is that candidates win by appealing to the middle. It doesn't seem like Trump did that. I remember in the summer leading up to the election pundits kept saying that his pivot to the middle was coming, but it never did. Moderates generally didn't vote for him, but then he still won. I have read that he won by mobilizing far-right voters who often didn't show up to vote for moderate candidates, whether they were from the left or right. I'm not sure how much Trump's policies motivated the far-right, but his rhetoric definitely did. In his attacks on immigrants, feminists, Muslims and others the neo-con movement had found their hero. That isn't to say that every Trump voter was racist or sexist, but the votes of those extremists helped put him into office.

So now the Democrats are looking at the question of how to win, in order to get Trump out of office. While a moderate would appeal to many liberals, a moderate might not get enough young people and far-left people out to vote. It could be a total repeat of the Clinton candidacy.

If the Democrats run someone further to the left, they might assume that they would still get a lot of moderates to vote Democrat just to see Trump out of power, and it would motivate young people and those who are far-left to actually show up and vote.

It is a weird situation for sure. If both parties learn the lesson that they can win by ignoring the middle and appealing to the extremes then the long-term implications should worry all of us.
Demosthenes · January 28, 2020 at 8:35 pm
I remember during the Clinton impeachment hearing conservatives saying that no such scandal could ever take place under a Republican President. At the time it was probably true. Of course Trump's issues with being honest about his extramarital affairs isn't close to the most immoral thing he has done.
I miss the days when the Republican party stood for something. The only thing they stand for these days is staying in power. See how far folks like Donkeyfarmer will go to in order to defend their team, even when it is clear that our leadership does not live up to our values. At what point do we agree to defend country and constitution over party?
Jim Griffin · January 28, 2020 at 8:27 pm
Silii: Trump calls them "deplorables" because HRC did so first. referring to them as a "basket of deplorables."

She made the mistake of assuming the viewpoints of others somehow less noble or less worthy than her own. Big mistake. Everyone is entitled to their opinion and likely simply sees the world differently for whatever reason, which in any case is no less properly motivated than your point of view is to you, or mine is to me.
Silii · January 28, 2020 at 7:42 pm
Read A Very Stable Genius. It is a frightening eye opener and shows how Trump really operates. Everyone should be totally aghast and frightened, including his supporters, if they are reasonable, decent, level thinking people. btw, Trump refers to his base as "deplorables" and not in a friendly way but in a way supportive of the true meaning of the word. He just likes the way they suck up to him.
Jim Griffin · January 28, 2020 at 7:23 pm
Matthew: I am neither Democrat nor Republican.

Indeed, I oppose almost all govt regulation regarding employment, much preferring that employers and employees reach agreements that work for them.

Education and health care are tricky, principally because we've already agreed to address them collectively through insurance and govt programs. Congress, veterans and more receive direct govt care, setting an example. We rely principally on govt schools. Even private insurance is heavily regulated.

As a result, we are largely socialist already. We socialize schools, defense, first-responders, disaster relief, transportation, radio frequencies and lots more. In fact, in Fauquier County, more than a quarter of our land -- our principal asset and means of production -- was transferred to collective control over its development.
Jim Griffin · January 28, 2020 at 7:18 pm
DF: I welcome the competition for electoral affection, but you are missing the clear middle ground. For example, in fact, there is no gun confiscation in Virginia, all tending towards a middle ground, despite dire predictions to the contrary. Indeed, I cannot so much as find registration on the table. Demonstrably, you are incorrect. You should not exacerbate the polarization.

You were right to predict this, but now you fail to acknowledge it -- which I understand as an electoral tactic designed to keep momentum going but an inaccurate reflection of the climate.
Jim Griffin · January 28, 2020 at 7:13 pm
DF: With all due respect, this is disingenuous, proof not of restraint but instead the power of whistle-blowing and does not negate the facts: The aid was delayed and this reduced its effectiveness for Ukraine in dealing with the Russians.

As you know, impeachment does not require a crime and indeed there were no crimes as such when the constitution was written. Some things shock the conscience with offense and the decision was placed by our founders on the good judgment of the House and Senate.

It is hard to have imagined a POTUS that would seek electoral advantage from impounding properly authorized defense aid, especially to a country directly beset by Putin's aggression. It is shameful, fully appropriate for impeachment consideration by our Congress.

Ultimately, it is lack of accountability that deprives us of good govt, as present in Clinton's private email server (and the lack of resulting historical records) as it is in Trump refusing to turnover papers and officials to testify. It is opaque govt and it must end; Transparency is the order of the day.
DonkeyFarmer · January 28, 2020 at 7:12 pm
Matthew- I used to think like you, that we can come to a middle ground. But there is no middle for the Democrats now. They will relentlessly push their agenda as hard as they can. I've come to the conclusion they just need to be defeated.
DonkeyFarmer · January 28, 2020 at 6:58 pm
Jim- Ukraine never announced an investigation into Biden and Ukraine got their aid. So there was no Quid no Pro and no Quo lol. Democrats impeached a president that committed no crime. Next Democrat president will be impeached for nothing as well.
Matthew Smith · January 28, 2020 at 6:22 pm
Changing the subject a little. Do the Democrats on this thread agree with the far left socialist stances taken by Sanders and Warren? Do you agree with free college (Sanders/Warren)? Do you agree with universal child care (Warren)? Do you agree with increasing the minimum wage to $15 per hour (the VA House passed it last night and is now in the hands of the VA Senate)? This is going to kill thousands of jobs and many businesses in VA. Do you agree with Medicare for all at a cost of $30 trillion over 10 years (Sanders/Warren)? I feel like many of the Democrats have become unhinged and out of touch with reality, both nationally and statewide. Can't we all come back toward the middle? Isn't the middle a much better place for us Americans. We all love our country. We shouldn't be at this much odds with one another.
Jim Griffin · January 28, 2020 at 5:58 pm
The transcript is not the crime nor complete evidence of it.

Here's what we know from the evidence gleaned once alerted by the whistleblower:

Congress allocated military aid to Ukraine that was required by law to be delivered to Ukraine but was instead withheld on DJT's orders, not delivered to Ukraine as required by law.

The evidence shows Trump conditioned funds release on Ukranian leader Zelensky publicly announcing an investigation into Biden -- not just on the phone call, but through repeated visits from Giuliani, State Dept officials, Parnas and others. The phone call triggered a whistleblower to superiors that produced the transcript of a phone call that is a tiny sliver of the evidence that highlight's Trump's guilt.

When the whistleblower revealed the call, the transcript led to the revelation of much more evidence -- and we know there's still more available Trump refuses to provide. (Hey, he even exclaimed this was true!)

He doesn't want the Senate to hear Bolton confirm all of this. He doesn't want to share the paperwork that will confirm these allegations. He is ordering others who could speak to these issues. It is obstruction of justice and also clear that he illegally withheld aid from Ukraine.

As for the Ambassador he fired -- yes, he has the power to do so, but that power should in no way be exercised for the wrong reasons and here it was. And, yes, I'd be equally irate regardless of the party of the president who did it for the wrong reason. In this case, it was shameful by all accounts, red and blue.
DonkeyFarmer · January 28, 2020 at 3:05 pm
An Ambassador is a political position so yes she was recalled for political purposes. Trump can fire an ambassador for any reason. How many did Obama fire? Were you irate then?
DonkeyFarmer · January 28, 2020 at 3:01 pm
Linda- None of the witnesses that were listening in to the phone call have said the transcript is in any way not a correct account of the phone call. The transcript was made public. You are just an angry person that hates Trump.
Jim Griffin · January 28, 2020 at 2:08 pm

The transcript of the phone call that led to the alert is one small piece of evidence probative of the matter, but no one claims it is the full picture. As evidence, in an of itself it is necessary but not sufficient.

The full picture is the point, and it isn't pretty. In part, it has a fine US Ambassador being thrown out for purely political purposes. And Rudy Giuliani serving as an unappointed/unapproved American statesman.

Ignoring this nation's defense leadership in favor of partisan adventuring is sad folly.

I truly believe foreign policy should be bi-partisan, just as Arthur Vandenburg preached long ago. We are one America. Corrupting the State Department is bad process.
Linda Ward · January 28, 2020 at 2:00 pm
DF - YOU READ THE TRANSCRIPT!! LOLOL, how did you get it off the super secret server? Members of CONGRESS haven't even seen or read the transcript. Who or what are you, Tom Cruise in Mission Impossible? Living in fantasy land aren't you?

The transcript that was released was cherry picked, and it was damning enough. It was not a PERFECT phone call, so many lies!

I'm wasting my time responding to you DF, you as Trump calls people are "a joke".
DonkeyFarmer · January 28, 2020 at 1:49 pm
Jim I read the transcript of the phone call, thats not what Trump said at all.

You guys are going to believe what you want because you simply can't accept he won the election and he is going to win again.
Jim Griffin · January 28, 2020 at 1:35 pm

Actually, he wasn't asking for an investigation of the Bidens.

Trump asked the Ukranians to make a public statement that they were investigating the Bidens, which is the point: He wants campaign material.

If you think they're corrupt, those Ukranians, an investigation by them is of course irrelevant. What Trump wants from them is PR, not a real investigation (corrupt people don't deliver real investigations). He demanded the public statement that he dictated, not a prolonged honest investigation.

I say really investigate Trump, the Bidens, anyone who wants to be POTUS. Make sure you get their tax return.

The light of day is the best disinfectant.
DonkeyFarmer · January 28, 2020 at 1:32 pm
Linda, I see. So Trump is being impeached for dirtying someones name? Good standard. Describes pretty much every politician. Guess we will be impeaching everyone from now on.
Linda Ward · January 28, 2020 at 1:20 pm
DF - No, he was trying dirty his name publically, like he does anyone that stands in his way or criticizes him. As has been heard in testimony he did NOT care about corruption. Why would he, it's his middle name.
DonkeyFarmer · January 28, 2020 at 12:13 pm
Linda- Remove Trump for what? You just said we should investigate the Bidens, that's what he was doing.
Linda Ward · January 28, 2020 at 11:55 am
Sure investigate the Bidens. Let's get the Trump mess cleaned up first. He needs to be removed or at the least reined in on his actions and spending.
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