They're running the same play again by @BloggersRUs

They're running the same play again

by Tom Sullivan

MSNBC's Chris Hayes noted on "All In" Monday night that it was obvious in the Ukraine affair Donald Trump is running the same play he ran in 2018. It's antecedent was the second item in David Leonhardt's "just the facts" column on Sunday:

He has pressured a foreign leader to interfere in the 2020 American presidential election.

He urged a foreign country to intervene in the 2016 presidential election.
Trump is enlisting the Party of Trump to run the same "Benghazi" play they ran against Hillary Clinton against Joe Biden. Benghazi - Part 2 will be "Ukraine." Every Republican pundit and operative will repeat it until they're blue in the face. They're doing it because they got away with it before. And if it doesn't get immediate traction, they'll turn their amps up to 11.

This was entirely predictable. It is the Republican M.O. What they get away with once they will keep doing until somebody stops them. This is not news to me. But it's a lesson Democrats refuse to learn. Someone you'd think they would listen to spelled it out 15 years ago.

In a 2004 interview with "The Daily Show" host Jon Stewart, former President Bill Clinton explained it in talking about what the Bush campaign had done in 2000 with the daughter Sen. John McCain adopted from Bangladesh:

Clinton: They had a calling operation in South Carolina in the primary in 2010 about how John McCain had a black baby, and they didn't want the white voters to forget it.


Stewart: Do you believe that politics has gotten so dirty ... that these kinds of tactics become so prevalent that this is the reason half the country doesn't vote? Or this is the reason that we don't get, maybe, the officials that we deserve?

Clinton: No, I think people do it because they think it works.

Stewart: That's it? Simply a strategy?

Clinton: Absolutely. And as soon as it doesn't work, they'll stop doing it.

Seven freshman Democrats with national security backgrounds wrote in the Washington Post Monday evening they plan to "preserve the checks and balances envisioned by the Founders," including using "inherent contempt" authority if necessary:
The president of the United States may have used his position to pressure a foreign country into investigating a political opponent, and he sought to use U.S. taxpayer dollars as leverage to do it. He allegedly sought to use the very security assistance dollars appropriated by Congress to create stability in the world, to help root out corruption and to protect our national security interests, for his own personal gain. These allegations are stunning, both in the national security threat they pose and the potential corruption they represent. We also know that on Sept. 9, the inspector general for the intelligence community notified Congress of a “credible” and “urgent” whistleblower complaint related to national security and potentially involving these allegations. Despite federal law requiring the disclosure of this complaint to Congress, the administration has blocked its release to Congress.

This flagrant disregard for the law cannot stand. To uphold and defend our Constitution, Congress must determine whether the president was indeed willing to use his power and withhold security assistance funds to persuade a foreign country to assist him in an upcoming election.
As I write this Monday evening, these stories continue to break: Trump ordered hold on military aid days before calling Ukrainian president, officials say:
President Trump told his acting chief of staff, Mick Mulvaney, to hold back almost $400 million in military aid for Ukraine at least a week before a phone call in which Trump is said to have pressured the Ukrainian president to investigate the son of former vice president Joe Biden, according to three senior administration officials.
Rep. Elaine Luria of Virginia, a 20-year U.S. Navy officer, told MSNBC's "Rachel Maddow Show" Monday night before the story above went live, "There does not need to be a political calculus in this situation."

"As soon as it doesn't work, they'll stop doing it."

It needs to stop working now. Not just for the sake of the republic but the planet as well. Speaker Nancy Pelosi and her caucus cannot avoid trying to stop it until Americans vote in 2020. In 2016, #MoscowMitch used that excuse in stonewalling doing his constitutional duty to hold confirmation hearings for President Obama's last nominee to the U.S. Supreme Court. It's not a precedent Democrats want to validate.