Monday, February 03, 2020


Is this supposed to scare us?
Iowa Senator Joni Ernst warned Sunday that Republicans could immediately push to impeach Joe Biden over his work in Ukraine as vice president if he win the White House.

“I think this door of impeachable whatever has been opened,” Ernst said in an interview with Bloomberg News. “Joe Biden should be very careful what he’s asking for because, you know, we can have a situation where if it should ever be President Biden, that immediately, people, right the day after he would be elected would be saying, ‘Well, we’re going to impeach him.’”
Let's not rehash the Biden-Burisma story. Let's just talk about the practicalities of trying to do this.

Who impeaches? The House. Who controls the House right now? Democrats. If Joe Biden wins the presidential election, who will have won the popular vote? Biden, because it's Republicans, not Democrats, who can win the presidency while losing the popular vote. And if Biden wins the popular vote, how will Democrats do in House races? Well enough to hold the House and maybe even gain seats.

So there simply won't be an immediate impeachment if Biden wins. It's not like four years ago, when Republicans controlled the House and were promising endless investigations in the event of a Hillary Clinton victory. I don't doubt that they'd like to impeach Biden. They just can't.

Ernst is hoping you haven't figured all this out. On behalf of her president, she's trying to deter Iowans from voting for the Democratic candidate Trump regards as his most dangerous opponent.

Except that Trump isn't sure anymore that Biden is the candidate he needs to fear most. Here was Trump over the weekend at Mar-a-Lago, according to The New York Times:
... Mr. Trump’s anger over impeachment, and his antipathy toward his possible 2020 election opponents — in particular, Michael R. Bloomberg — spilled into public view....

Sunday night the president and Mr. Bloomberg, the former New York City mayor and a latecomer to the Democratic race who is not on the ballot in the Iowa caucuses on Monday, would face off in costly Super Bowl ads. But Mr. Trump, who seems to be increasingly fixated on Mr. Bloomberg and the fortune he is vowing to spend on the election, apparently could not wait.

In a tweet sent just after midnight, Mr. Trump tried to implicate Mr. Bloomberg in a conspiracy theory he has used in an apparent attempt to sow divisions in the Democratic presidential field.

... More tweets about Mr. Bloomberg followed, culminating in an interview with Sean Hannity, the Fox News personality and presidential confidant, that was taped on Saturday but aired three hours before the game.

In the interview, the president reiterated a false claim he had sent in a late-night tweet: that Mr. Bloomberg had demanded a box to stand on should he participate in a Democratic candidates’ debate.

... “You know, now he wants a box for the debates to stand on. O.K., it’s O.K., there’s nothing wrong,” Mr. Trump said. “You can be short. Why should he get a box to stand on, O.K.? He wants a box for the debates. Why should he be entitled to that? Really. Does that mean everyone else gets a box?”
The leader of the free world, ladies and gentlemen.

Mike Bloomberg has a colossal ego. This won't fluster him the way it flustered Marco Rubio. (It would be good if it offended more people, but contempt for short people is a widely acceptable prejudice.)

I have problems with Bloomberg, but I'm delighted that he's getting under Trump's skin. I pissed some of you off by making it clear that I'm ready to get behind Bernie Sanders if necessary, but I'm also ready to get behind Bloomberg, who's the antithesis of Sanders in many ways. Whatever it takes. Bloomberg would at least be good on reproductive rights, climate change, and guns. The taxes on the rich he's proposed might be modest by comparison with the ones proposed by Sanders or Elizabeth Warren, but they're more than I expected. (You know the rich will get another tax cut in a second Trump term.)

Maybe in a few months we'll be hearing about Republicans' plans to impeach Bloomberg or Sanders or Warren. But they'll have no opportunity if the Democratic nominee wins the White House.

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