Don't reply to the Memo


    Right now  it's the only game in town. It will be discussed and where there are contrary unclassified facts available Schiff&Co can steer the media to them.

    Once a Democrat rebuttal appears Fox etc  will be gratefully relieved of their knee jerk responsibility to defend the Memo and will shift to attacking the Democrat response.  Which is  why there shouldn't be one. Now. 

    A month from now, sure. In the interim Schiff should not disown his intended response. Give a non newsworthy response like "We have submitted our reply and when we receive approval we will issue it. Meanwhile we note that the Republican Memo says  etc. etc. etc."

    Why do you think Ryan and Trump have suggested releasing the Democrat's reply? In the interests of fairness? 

    Because it's in the Republican's  interest to quickly change the subject from their memo.

    And it's in our interest  not to.




    Democrats are told to cower. They need to stand tall. No matter what Democrats do, they will be attacked. The Nunes memo was nonsense. The Democrat memo, once cleansed of sensitive information, will point out the nonsense. Stand tall. All I have to do to to upset Conservative acquaintances is to play the clip of Sean Hannity beginning his television broadcast calling out the New York Times for “fake news” when the Times said that Trump wanted to fire Mueller. Towards the end of the show, Hannity admits that Fox News member Ed Henry verified that Trump tried to fire Mueller. Hannity responded by saying that it was Trump’s right to fire Mueller. Hannnity then switched to a car chase. It was hilarious, but it points out the hypocrisy.

    Republicans are traitors, they are willing to ignore the Russian cyberattack. They support an idiot. They support a misogynist.. They support a racist. If we stay silent, we can pretend that we are keeping Trump supporters from getting fired up, but the truth is, we are being cowards. Voters want to see strong Democrats. Voters need to see strong Democrats so they can feel that Democrats will actually fight for voters interests.

    Democrats are told to cower.

    By who?

    There is a general sense that Democrats should be above it all.  The result could be called cowering.

    - What happened when McDonnell refused to consider Barack Obama’s Supreme Court appointment with 10 months left in his Presidency, for completely bogus reasons?  Just one more middle finger to our President.  In my opinion this was a Constitutional Crisis in and of itself.  ‘Well, Hillary will win and she will appoint a more liberal Justice’... was the thinking. In other words, don’t fight for a principle, just cave so we don’t get dirty having a fight.  In other words...COWERING.  And over a very important principle.

    - When Obama was given the intelligence that Russia was significantly interfering with the PRESIDENTIAL ELECTION ( “meddling” is when you tell your daughter-in-law it’s time she gave you a grand-child), he went to Congress to inform them of this serious situation.  Again it was Mitch McConnell who threatened THE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES that if he put this information out McConnell would tell everyone that this was a political ploy.  What happened?  A trickle of this information went out but was not widely disseminated, and this terrible breach went on without the knowledge of the US population at large.  My biggest Obama disappointment ever.  Why? Because....COWERING about something that really mattered.

    The FBI put out information about that false Hillary email non-scandal 2 weeks before the election, but not one word about the ongoing investigation into the trump campaign giving aid and comfort to Russians.  Surely this info could have come out through the White House but it didn’t.

    No fights about hypocrisy, broken promises (see ObamaCare negotiations), backing down on uncountable issues -  all some form of cowering.

    Who started it?  No idea.  But it has to stop.  Michelle Obama has the right idea about how to behave in our personal lives:  “When they go low we go high.”

    But in dealing with a Republican Party devoid of scruples or honor, I think the proper behavior is this:

    When they go low, bend over, look them in the eye, and show them what is right.  If that takes punching them in the nose, so be it.  



    When someone punches you, turn the other cheek. Then turn around and hit them so hard they wish that they had never been born.

    Whatever might have been correct at other times, right now  we should do   whatever  makes it likely we'll gain seats  in November

    . Keeping quiet.

    Democrats will lose if they keep quiet. Keeping quiet is weakness. Ed Gillespie in. Virginia and Roy Moore in Alabama were trying to be Trump-light. Vigorous pushback against these candidates was the only path to victory. How is keeping quiet going to encourage GOTV? If Democrats stay silent their base will lose enthusiasm. How exactly, do you expect silence to work? The Nunes memo is in the public sphere. Democrats have to respond or Nunes wins the day.

    Why should anyone who is outraged at Republican malfeasance care what Fox does?  The clientele for Fox cannot be won over.  There are enough informed and patriotic Republicans and indies in whose eyes Fox is rapidly losing any credibility they may have thought it had as a news organization. There is a great opportunity to aid in its further self-marginalization simply by doing what an opposition does: oppose. Vigorously, forthrightly, without apology.

    Based on Schiff's Wash Post op ed I am confident that his memo will more than hold its own.  By explaining, with facts and logic, why the Nunes memo is so off base. 

    It should keep the shoddy Nunes memo in the spotlight longer rather than crowding it out, because the Scheff memo is about the Nunes memo.

    Sometimes it may be advisable or necessary to adopt a defensive mindset.  Not now.  Not on this matter.

    Carl Bernstein says we are in the most dangerous days since McCarthy.

    We may well be but if so, it's not for the reasons that Bernstein presents. It's because both major parties, the economic elites, and huge chunks of academia, and the media have abandoned all but a tiny pretense of concern for the poor, working, and middle-class.

    Carl Bernstein 

    “Russia investigation feels worse than Watergate”.

    “We’ve got to be a little cautious here — we’ve got to see where this goes. But at the same time, we also know that we’re dealing with a situation that appears to be a real feeling that is worse than Watergate in many, many ways, in the sense that we have a president of the United States who lies about almost anything.”

    I don't know if I agree with you on what would be the smart political play here.

    Right now I don't see the whole Congressional GOP being tarred with the whole nothingburger fiasco thing. Just the House GOP. And this is traditional no matter who is in power, the House is always looked down upon as a bunch of idiot yahoos playing politics and not tending to business, how they act like this is both expected and is actually the reason for Congress' eternal low approval rating.

    The Senate panel gets more respect. What are they doing and saying about it?

    Meanwhile, the reason I posted Rep. Hurd's op-ed on why he voted for releasing the memo is that I found his "let there be sunshine on these things" argument compelling, especially as he argued that the Dem version is coming once it is properly cleansed of data that should truly remain secret. It's not the fault of grownups like him that us news junkies and the media that feed us play up the political angle.

    And in the end I think the grownups will win on this one precisely because: it's not a culture wars subject that the rest of the public will have an opinion on. This is news and politics junkies stuff. The proof: Trump can't find much to say on it! He's just coming up with weak generalizations, nothing to really rile up the troops and those who hate them, like football players kneeling or some such. Carter Page is not someone he can really use to any good effect.

    After thinking on it a bit, I believe your general idea is sound, Flav, it's just that "keeping quiet" isn't exactly the right wording. It's:

    Be the growunps with measured, thoughtful, calm responses. Don't feed the trolls. Be the troll fighting team. A troll fighting team of measured rational grownups is what voters are going to be looking for after this Congress under this president is done. I dare say even some who don't think that badly of this president all of the time might cotton to having a grownup rep in Congress to counter him when he gets too crazy.

    Democrats are more likely to take the high moral ground. Democrats still lose.

    P.S. His approval rating went up a bit after the SOTU where he tried hard to play grownup to the point of improving his body language (he's currently crowing about it on Twitter). We know he isn't constitutionally capable of keeping that up and will keep tweeting crazy stuff full of narcissicism.

    Meanwhile, it's evidence of a hunger for grownup behavior....certainly not Nunes type behavior...

    He's also hypocritically tweeting about how the FBI should be a non-partisan enforcer of the law. Because he knows that sells. Therefore, that's what Dems should be seen as: defenders of the law. More passionate partisan hackitude is the last thing people need or want to hear on this topic.

    Edit to add: don't forget that a lot of those who voted for Hillary did so holding their nose because by them she was also seen as playing fast and loose with politico stuff. I just don't think partisan fighting is the way to go with this, keep it about Russians attacking our country. You buy into making this one about Dems. vs. Republicans, both sides lose. Whining that the other side is being unfair, insane, acting illegally or whatever is exactly what Putin wanted to happen. Mueller sure ain't doing that.

    Yeah. But later.

    "The House of Lords,                                                                                                                                              Throughout the War                                                                                                                                                                    Did nothing in particular                                                                                                                                                            and did it very well

    worth re-visting: Ezra Klein interviews Joe Trippi on what really happened in Alabama on the Doug Jones campaign.

    the intro; after which one can either read an edited transcript or listen to the full interview. My underlining:

    “The day before the Washington Post story came out, we were behind by one point, 46 to 45,” says Joe Trippi. “And the day before the election, we were ahead in our own survey by 2 points. We ended up winning by 1.8.”

    This, Trippi says, was the reality of the Alabama Senate election. It was a dead heat when it started. It was a dead heat the day it ended. And a lot of what the media thinks they know about what happened in between is wrong.

    Trippi, who managed Howard Dean’s 2004 presidential campaign, was the chief media strategist on the Doug Jones campaign. And in this conversation, he tells the inside story of that effort. The sexual abuse allegations against Roy Moore, for instance, played a more complex role than many realize — the Jones campaign found that they often re-tribalized a race they were trying desperately to de-tribalize, and would occasionally boost Roy Moore’s numbers.

    Trippi says the central insight of the Jones campaign was that many voters, including many Trump-friendly Republicans, are already exhausted by the chaos and hostility of Trump’s Washington, and they're open to alternatives. That was the opportunity Jones exploited, and it’s a lesson Trippi thinks is a model other Democrats could learn from in 2018.

    so far the whole thing is working out in a very strange way cheeky


    The president is tweeting that the FBI influenced the election he won ...

    — Maggie Haberman (@maggieNYT) February 4, 2018



    Also too

    they're thinking about replying, according to WaPo home page now:

    Republican lawmakers distance themselves from Trump on memo as Democrats fight to rebut

    As four GOP members of the House Intelligence Committee disputed that the document has a bearing on the Mueller probe, Democrats on the panel were gearing up for a possible vote on their party’s response.

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