March 7, 2019

Philippe Reines, former Hillary Clinton Spokesperson, said some things that hit like a lightning bolt today about impeachment. On Stephanie Ruhle's show, he joined Charlie Sykes in discussing the two most recent impeachment scenarios: Bill Clinton and Richard Nixon, and had the usual compare/contrast thing going on.

Sykes urged folks to look past the Clinton impeachment to Nixon's, because the Clinton impeachment backfired on Republicans. He cited hyper-partisanship as the reason Clinton's failed, and pointed to the pressure in Nixon's case being so bipartisan it was undeniable, and therefore successful. That's why he felt it was the "model to keep in mind."

Reines reminded all of us that no previous presidential behavior can be compared to Trump's, or relied upon for guidance. Trump simply has no respect for the rule of law or the truth. But then Reines blasted the notion that I hear everywhere, from everyone (including people on Fox News, by the way): that the Clinton impeachment backfired on Republicans.

The problem with the Nixon model was, Nixon saw the writing on the wall. He lost the Supreme Court case about coughing up the tapes. The indictment was already being drafted, HE respected the rule of law. Donald Trump will never get to a point where he says, "Okay, I'm going to leave because the court is about to throw me out." And that is a real problem. The other thing that drives me crazy is this notion that the...Republicans suffered for impeachment in '98. I'm not sure what that what that means. They lost a couple of Senate seats, but they held the Congress, they held the House in 2006, and they won the presidency in 2000 for eight years, they're back here with Donald Trump. I would make the argument that the Republicans did a damn good job of poisoning impeachment forever more and that they are benefitting from that right now because all we're doing is saying, well, it didn't work out so well for them -- for Bill Clinton so we shouldn't do it again. How, exactly, did it NOT work out so well for them?

Whoooooa. Um...I think he has a huge honkin' point there. Madam Speaker? Are you listening?

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