Impeachment Rules, Baghdadi Dead, Another Fed Rate Cut, Democratic Race

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The show kicks off with Mike & Jay discussing the House resolution on the impeachment inquiry of President Trump. Jay says that it partly addresses procedural fairness issues many Republicans have been raising, but that it’s still not fair enough to the president. Mike disagrees, arguing that the president will get every procedural protection he should – and then some – during a Senate trial. Things get a bit heated as Mike and Jay discuss whether there’s sufficient evidence to impeach the president and they come to differing conclusions as to what constitutes ‘high crimes and misdemeanors’.

Next, the Guys turn to the death of Islamic State leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi in a U.S. special forces raid. Jay loved the president’s comments about the raid, which he felt made for great political theater. Mike points out that the raid was made possible by intelligence help from the Kurds, and argues that we need a continued presence in the region to make these critical relationships possible. They both agree that this is good news for the fight against radical Islamic terrorism.

Then it’s a turn to some contradictory economic news – another good jobs report, wages exceeding inflation, and a record-setting economic expansion, but with overall growth down and businesses reluctant to spend. Both Mike and Jay believe the slowdown is due in no small part to President Trump’s trade war with China. Mike makes a case that the president might actually be working against his short term electoral interest by pushing the trade war, though Jay points out that that’s likely why Trump is pushing so hard for Fed rate cuts.

The show closes with a discussion of some important developments in the Democratic presidential nomination race – Beto O’Rourke pulling out, Kamala Harris cutting staff and going all-in on Iowa, and Elizabeth Warren releasing details on how she’d pay for her Medicare for All plan.

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6 thoughts on “Impeachment Rules, Baghdadi Dead, Another Fed Rate Cut, Democratic Race”

  1. I don’t identify as either republican or democrat and intensely disapprove of Trump. I really enjoy the show but this one did not “get a little heated”. I don’t know if Mike had raw meat for breakfast, has a toothache or drank too much or not enough alcohol before the show but he was the source of the heat.

    First he agrees with Jay that it is important the impeachment investigation appear fair to the public and then when Jay brings up limits on Trump’s defenders calling witnesses he goes off on “elections have consequences”. The he goes after Jay for looking at the situation like a lawyer and not being able to stop looking at things through his lawyerly lens. I believe “that’s your problem” was the phrase.

    Then Jay brought up the Washington Post’s coverage of al-Baghdadi and Mike starts in on do we have dehumanize people who do evil things.

    I agree with Mike more than Jay on all these topics but the tone was not what I have come to expect from The Politics Guys.

    Criminy dutch Mike. Meditate before the show or something.

  2. Thanks for taking the time to comment – I always appreciate constructive criticism. I agree with you that I went a bit overboard a few times, especially with my ‘elections have consequences’ remark, which makes no sense in the context of a discussion of procedural protections. I should have stuck to my argument that the president would have a full array of procedural protections in the Senate trial and left it at that.

    Concerning my comment about Jay thinking like an attorney, I was referring to his either inability or unwillingness to see the matter as political, not legal. ‘High crimes and misdemeanors’ has long been held to not refer to the commission of any particular crime in the U.S. Code, but rather as a subjective measure left to the House and Senate to determine. My frustration with Jay’s inability to see or admit this got the better of me at times, and I became more emotional than usual.

    As for the Baghdadi / Washington Post issue, I stand by my argument about the wrongness of dehumanizing even the worst people. I’d also point out that when Jay was able to read me the Post’s headline, I agreed with him that it was a bad choice.

    I absolutely have a tendency to get more frustrated with Jay than with anyone else I co-host with. My sense is that’s largely because on many topics, I feel that he’s not necessarily espousing his personal views, but rather trying to present the GOP counterpoint to what I’m saying. He’s said as much multiple times in the past and while I understand the value of that and respect his position, I sometimes lose it a little bit when it seems to me that he’s being intellectually disingenuous – and that he knows it – in order to advance the argument of his party.

    Or, maybe it’s just that I didn’t sleep all that well the night before. : )

    1. I was what one would call a “short term” subscriber to this podcast, now in the past tense unfortunately. Michael’s berating of his republican guest on the show belays the “non-partisan” portrayal of the show as it has descended into two straight episodes of Trump derangement syndrome. Yes Trump is a clown, has surrounded himself with second rate yes men and so on down the list. But to berate a guest to the point that he clearly just stops talking about the actual factual issues at hand and not Michael’s so obvious feelings about it all is disappointing. Cheers all from Canada (we also have an extreme hypocrite for a leader, once a darling of the progressive left and Vogue/Rolling Stone – LOL) – back to the National Review I go for some respectful and considered debate.

      1. Thanks for commenting. While we’re not actually a nonpartisan show (we’re bipartisan) I agree that I got somewhat emotional talking about impeachment with Jay in our most recent episode. But I don’t think it went as far as berating him, and I’m pretty sure Jay would agree (we’ve known each other for 20+ years, so I’m pretty confident of this.) But all the same, I should have toned it down and I’m sorry I didn’t. (I still think I’m correct on the facts, but my presentation needed some work.)

        As for being deranged by Trump – absolutely not. In fact, I’ve repeatedly said that he deserves the presumption of innocence, and that while I would vote to impeach, I wouldn’t vote to convict based on what I’ve heard so far. That puts me considerably to the right of many in my own party.

  3. Seems to me that Jay consider that what republican does is OK, as long as it’s not illegal: Partisan gerrymandering, asking for foreign help in exchange for appropriated money, etc. But when democrats sets the conditions of the impeachment hearing, he consider them “not fair”, even though it is up to congress to set them.

    Am I the only one to see a double standard in his arguments?

    1. I agree, which is in part why I was so frustrated with him in this episode. That said, I should have taken a few deep breaths and made more of an attempt to make my arguments with more precision and less emotion.

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