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Impeachment Trial: Strategy and Prediction thread

 
 
Reply Mon 16 Dec, 2019 08:42 pm
This is a thread for political strategy, and predictions on the outcome. Post here if you are interested in the strategy; the political goals on each side, the battle lines, the maneuvering and tactics.

If you want to have endless partisan arguments over talking points, then stay on the other thread (it's getting boring there for a reason)

If you are confident, make a prediction that that can be measurable (I am already down one prediction). If you have an interesting insight on what the players are, what pressures are on the Senators, or how Trump will help or hurt his own case, then jump in.


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Type: Question • Score: 0 • Views: 606 • Replies: 27
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maxdancona
 
  1  
Reply Mon 16 Dec, 2019 08:55 pm
The Senate Trial is super high stakes for both sides.

1) The conservative websites that I read are very confident (overconfident in my view)... to the point they are predicting that the Democrats won't even send the articles of impeachment to the Senate. I think this is wishful thinking.

2) The Democrats can lose the impeachment trial and still win big in the elections.

3) Of course, the Republicans can also win big in the elections... .that is why it is high stakes.

4) The Republicans are in a bit of a difficult position. If they don't seem like they are taking this seriously, they could pay dearly with independent voters. There is pressure on Republicans to run a serious and "fair" trial (however the public will judge fair).

5) I predict the Republicans will have to allow the Democrats to call up witnesses during the Senate trial. There will be public pressure, and pressure from moderate Republicans to do so. The optics of Republicans refusing witnesses is that they are subservient to the president and not taking the process seriously.

6) The conservative Republicans don't want to take the process seriously. They will pressure the Senate to get it over with quickly. I predict they will lose with the public, and will be voted down in the Senate.

7) Remember that the Republicans have a narrow majority (53 votes to 49 votes). McConnell can't do anything if only 4 of the moderate Republicans disagree. On the issue of witnesses (and other issues) I think they will disagree.

8) The main fight will be for public opinion. The Democrats and Republicans will both be constantly speaking directly to the American people. Polls will be very important to the end result.

9 ) I think it is unlikely that Trump will be removed but it is possible. The prediction markets have it at 9%... I am buying.

10) The process to Trump being convicted would involve a couple of prominent Republicans flipping to a "yes" vote. Once a couple of conservatives flip (due to any number of pressures) there may be a cascade effect. I don't think this is likely, but it is possible.

11) It is also possible that Trump will be vindicated, that the public will support Trump and Democrats will flip. I think this is also unlikely.

12) It is also possible that Trump will be acquitted narrowly with a bitterly divided public and a nasty election. I wish as Americans we could do better than this.



maxdancona
 
  1  
Reply Mon 16 Dec, 2019 09:00 pm
Trump is also a big wild card. The wiser voices in the GOP are trying to get this settled to their liking with as little drama (and as little damage to the GOP as possible). Trump initially wanted a lot of drama and as much damage to the Democrats as possible. I believe the first strategy is the best for the Republicans, it plays to their narrative that the impeachment is frivolous and they should get back to the business of governing.

I think the Democrats want Trump to push the Republicans into a full out brawl (which they don't want to be seen as instigating).

Trump now seems to be listening to calmer voices.... but honestly Trump can go off the deep end as the process continues.
0 Replies
 
maxdancona
 
  1  
Reply Wed 18 Dec, 2019 05:41 am
The next big fight is over witnesses in the Senate trial. This is going to be interesting. The Democrats only need 51 votes; they only need to get 4 Republican votes in order to hear witnesses.

McConnell (who isn't stupid) wants to get the trial over with quickly to reach an acquittal (which he believes is inevitable) with as little drama as possible. The Democrats want to call up 4 witnesses (according to the letter sent by majority leader Schumer).

I think the Republicans are in a bit of a difficult spot. It is bad for them if they appear to be brushing the impeachment under the rug. There is nothing good for them that will come out of hearing the Democrats witnesses. The Democrats have a simple argument (it is always good when you can state your argument in one sentence)... a real trial has witnesses.

The "bring in Hunter Biden" strategy would blow everything up. I think many Trump supporters support this. I think McConnell, and the wiser leaders of the Republicans feel this would be a nightmare.

It is the Republicans choice... no witnesses, relevant witness, or Hunter Biden.




0 Replies
 
maxdancona
 
  1  
Reply Thu 19 Dec, 2019 01:57 am
There is a new interesting strategy idea...

The word is that Nancy Pelosi could hold the impeachment... just decide to not send it over to the Senate until they agree to have what she considers a "fair trial" (which probably means witnesses).

I am not sure how this goes over with the public. Pelosi is working very hard to demonstrate that for her this is not political.

I am also not sure if idea would give Pelosi, or the Democrats in the Senate, any leverage. If they can play this as "Republicans... you have to take this seriously" then it might work.

I think the road to having witnesses in the Senate is public pressure on moderate Republicans.
oralloy
 
  -2  
Reply Thu 19 Dec, 2019 07:19 am
@maxdancona,
I think that if the House refuses to send the charges to the Senate, the Republicans should say "fine with us" and let them do that.

Trump can argue to the voters (and to history) that the fact that the charges were not forwarded to the Senate means that it was not a legitimate impeachment.
oralloy
 
  -2  
Reply Thu 19 Dec, 2019 07:20 am
I predict that Mr. Trump will not be removed, will be reelected, and that another Republican president will then be elected (and reelected) after Trump serves out his full second term in office.

The above is my only prediction. What follows is my opinion on ideal strategy, without any predictions as to whether Republicans will follow my advice:



The Republicans should immediately start running negative campaign ads against any Democrat in a conservative district who voted to impeach. The Republicans should go strongly negative about the impeachment vote in these ads.



I don't have a strong opinion as to whether there should be a trial or not. There are merits to having a trial, and there are merits to simply rejecting the charges outright.

Simply rejecting the charges without a trial will be a strong statement that the charges were laughable and bogus.

Holding a trial on the other hand will be an opportunity to prevent Sanders and Warren from campaigning in New Hampshire and Iowa.



I think that if they have a trial, they should call Hunter Biden and the supposed whistle blower as witnesses, along with anyone else that Mr. Trump wishes to call as a witness.

Letting the Democrats call witnesses could be useful in dragging out the length of the trial throughout the primaries. Other than that, I see no reason why the Democrats should be allowed to present or question any witnesses.
maxdancona
 
  1  
Reply Thu 19 Dec, 2019 09:00 am
@oralloy,
Your analysis depends on the assumption that all of the Republican senators will stay in line. If this happens, then McConnell can do whatever he wants.

I am not sure this is a realistic assumption.
McGentrix
 
  0  
Reply Thu 19 Dec, 2019 12:29 pm
@maxdancona,
maxdancona wrote:

The Senate Trial is super high stakes for both sides.

1) The conservative websites that I read are very confident (overconfident in my view)... to the point they are predicting that the Democrats won't even send the articles of impeachment to the Senate. I think this is wishful thinking.


I read this and thought about recent news and saw your follow up:

maxdancona wrote:

There is a new interesting strategy idea...

The word is that Nancy Pelosi could hold the impeachment... just decide to not send it over to the Senate until they agree to have what she considers a "fair trial" (which probably means witnesses).

I am not sure how this goes over with the public. Pelosi is working very hard to demonstrate that for her this is not political.

I am also not sure if idea would give Pelosi, or the Democrats in the Senate, any leverage. If they can play this as "Republicans... you have to take this seriously" then it might work.

I think the road to having witnesses in the Senate is public pressure on moderate Republicans.



How do you correlate "I think this is wishful thinking." with "There is a new interesting strategy idea..."?

maxdancona
 
  1  
Reply Thu 19 Dec, 2019 01:31 pm
@McGentrix,
Yep, I waa wrong on at least one of those.... (I am just trying to figure it out).

I think the game is who the Amerocan people will nlame. Pelosi and Schumer want to call witnesses. The messaging from the Democrats is "we want a fair trial". Pelosi may have sone leverage.
McGentrix
 
  -1  
Reply Thu 19 Dec, 2019 01:48 pm
@maxdancona,
Quote:
Pelosi and Schumer want to call witnesses. The messaging from the Democrats is "we want a fair trial".


The Republicans in the House also wanted to call witnesses and also wanted a fair trial. They didn't get that.

Pelosi has ZERO leverage in the Senate.
oralloy
 
  -1  
Reply Thu 19 Dec, 2019 01:49 pm
@maxdancona,
Democrats have little hope of plausibility on the "we want a fair trial" front after the way they blocked Republican witnesses in the House.
0 Replies
 
oralloy
 
  -1  
Reply Thu 19 Dec, 2019 01:50 pm
@McGentrix,
Great minds think alike. Very Happy
McGentrix
 
  -1  
Reply Thu 19 Dec, 2019 01:52 pm
@oralloy,
oralloy wrote:

Great minds think alike. Very Happy


Mmmm, yes, quite, indeed sir.
0 Replies
 
oralloy
 
  -2  
Reply Thu 19 Dec, 2019 01:54 pm
@maxdancona,
maxdancona wrote:
Your analysis depends on the assumption that all of the Republican senators will stay in line. If this happens, then McConnell can do whatever he wants.

It was more a policy suggestion than an analysis. But yes, I am assuming that.


maxdancona wrote:
I am not sure this is a realistic assumption.

I don't think McConnell will find much Republican objection to holding the trial during the Iowa caucuses and New Hampshire primary.

I also don't think any Republicans will balk at letting Mr. Trump call Hunter Biden and the supposed whistle blower to testify.

Possibly some moderate Republicans will insist on letting Democrats call witnesses.
0 Replies
 
maxdancona
 
  1  
Reply Thu 19 Dec, 2019 02:16 pm
@McGentrix,
McGentrix wrote:

Pelosi has ZERO leverage in the Senate.


We will see how much leverage she has. Her targets are moderate Rwpublicans and the general public opinion.

If any Republican Senators start using terms like "fair trial" or "impartial juror" you will know that McConells grip isnt as tight as you two hope.

If McConell can keep his moderates in line then he wins.

This is tightly coupled with polling, if the polls start to swing one way or the other it will change rhe calculus.
oralloy
 
  -2  
Reply Thu 19 Dec, 2019 02:32 pm
@maxdancona,
I don't find the terms "fair trial" and "impartial juror" to be incompatible with letting Trump question Hunter Biden or the supposed whistle blower.

In fact, I don't see how it can possibly be considered a fair trial if Mr. Trump is prevented from presenting a defense of his choosing and confronting his accusers.

I also don't see how holding the trial during the Iowa caucuses and New Hampshire primary is incompatible with the terms "fair trial" and "impartial juror".
maxdancona
 
  0  
Reply Thu 19 Dec, 2019 03:31 pm
@oralloy,
McConnell doesn't want Trump to present the defense of Trump's choosing. McConnell is trying to hold Trump back and to have as sinple a trial as possible.

When McConnell says he doesn't want a circus, he is trying to hold Trump back.
oralloy
 
  -2  
Reply Thu 19 Dec, 2019 06:26 pm
@maxdancona,
It sounds to me like McConnell is pressing for a quick vote with no real trial of any sort (no witnesses for the Democrats either).

It's a valid option. There are some real advantages to simply rejecting the charges out of hand.
oralloy
 
  -1  
Reply Thu 19 Dec, 2019 06:42 pm
@oralloy,
oralloy wrote:
I think that if the House refuses to send the charges to the Senate, the Republicans should say "fine with us" and let them do that.

I heard a bit about this on the news tonight. I hope the Republicans listen to my advice and take Pelosi up on her offer to not go forward with the impeachment process.
 

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