Will Hurd

Will Hurd’s Sparkle Pony Approach to the Solemn Duty of Upholding the Constitution

There was yet another stunning impeachment hearing, with Fiona Hill and David Holmes laying out yet more evidence that Trump subordinated the national security of the United States to his own personal needs.

But that didn’t sway Will Hurd, who used his minutes at the end not to ask the question he has asked of many other witnesses, for a list of Ukrainians close to Volodymyr Zelensky with whom Rudy was interacting (Holmes had already made clear the list is much longer than the list Hurd had previously used to dismiss the inquiry).

Instead, he used his time to:

  • Grossly misrepresent the totality of the inquiry to two words in Trump’s call
  • Admit that this is a terrible precedent (one that Trump has already repeated with other countries)
  • Affirm that Trump’s actions harmed national security
  • Grossly misrepresent crystal clear messages to Ukraine, pretending they were unclear to the Ukrainians
  • Call willful actions for personal benefit a “bungling” foreign policy
  • Accuse Democrats (and nonpartisan witnesses) of undermining Ukraine for observing its reliance on us
  • Falsely claim there were differences of opinion about the call: no witness expressed having no concern about it
  • Call an investigation in which not a single witness was a partisan Democrat (just Tim Morrison, as a Congressional staffer, and Jennifer Williams, as a George W Bush campaign worker expressed any partisan affiliation) an extremely partisan process
  • Completely ignore Trump’s violation of the Budget Impoundment Act to create his extortion, effectively blessing the usurpation of his own power as a Congressman
  • Remain silent about the Administration’s refusal to cooperate at all in the inquiry, withholding every senior official’s testimony

Most cynically, though, Hurd blamed the focus on the President’s crimes for the distraction from Ukraine, not the President’s crimes itself. He blamed Democrats for the shift of focus, not the Administration’s refusal to respond to very simple, bipartisan requests about Ukraine, most notably on funding.

Then he suggested this investigation was rushed.

The delay is hurting Ukraine (and our own national security), but the inquiry has been rushed, said the former CIA officer.

And then, he laid out what he needed to assess whether this was really a crime: more testimony. Not from Mike Pompeo, Rick Perry, Mick Mulvaney, or John Eisenberg, all of whom can answer key questions that remain unanswered.

But from three people who should not testify:

  • Rudy Giuliani (because he is being criminally investigated for this activity and it’d be insane for him to do so–which is probably why he refused Lindsey Graham’s request for testimony)
  • Hunter Biden (because there has been no credible claim he did anything that Trump’s children aren’t currently doing)
  • The whistleblower (because every other witness has corroborated the whistleblower’s complaint and the President has already been retaliating against him for a month)

In short, Hurd offered up these three impossible witnesses, knowing that neither Democrats nor Republicans would agree to the request, as his condition to consider the matter further.

Hurd admitted in his statement that this is a gravely serious duty under the Constitution. And, having admitted that seriousness, he asked for a Sparkle Pony — something he knew he would not get — to excuse his own cowardice for refusing to do anything about Trump’s abuse of office.

97 replies
  1. P J Evans says:

    I have trouble understanding how he can say, with a straight face, that he hasn’t seen any evidence that justifies impeaching Trmp. It’s being laid out in front of him, there’s Mueller’s report, and he’s still willfully blind to all of it.

    • AndTheSlithyToves says:

      Hurd is retiring… more wingnut welfare.

      Cheryl Rofer | @CherylRofer
      40m40 minutes ago

      The performance of other Republicans on the committee was equally reprehensible. None, not even Will Hurd, who is retiring, saw anything wrong with the President’s behavior and attacked the witnesses in various ways. 6/

      3 replies8 retweets82 likes
      Reply 3 Retweet 8 Like 82

    • Mainmata says:

      Like many others, I thought Will Hurd was the exceedingly rare rational Republican. But his behavior in the Intel Committee today, given his professional background was very weird and sad and seems evident that there is really an infectious ideological disease going on in the House GOP.

      • Valerie Klyman-Clark says:

        What you said. Mad Nunes’ Cow Disease. I, too thought he might be that rarity in the GOP-someone capable of critical thinking but he’s all in now. I don’t understand how anyone can continue to stand with the GOP; it’s a cult.

  2. MissyDC says:

    Thank you for this post. Hurd’s speech felt like a punch to the gut. I knew going in the inquiry wouldn’t change GOP minds. But his words were so spineless and hurtful. I’m usually a hopeful person but have little right now.

  3. pseudonymous in nc says:

    Hurd’s position is basically “knowing that the president will do it again, let’s hope he doesn’t get caught again because of the work required to defend him.”

    If the Dems do want to send this to Judiciary quickly — a mistake in my opinion — then they also have to start talking the way Schiff did about how the president will do this again and again and again because impunity is a drug.

    • BobCon says:

      Yes, and not just will do — has done. Other calls on the locked down server are likely candidates for more disturbing shakedowns, or deals with Putin, or who knows what.

      Getting that information means finding more Hills and Vindmans who are willing to speak if subpoenaed. It means combing through a mountain of records and figuring out what other shady operators are out there and what kind of deals they have been cutting. It means keeping the pressure going.

      Rushing to hand this over to McConnell and letting him stage manage it in the style of the Kavanaugh “investigation” is something I simply can’t get a grip on. If any Democrats think the press will simply declare this episode a win and think it will haunt Trump all the way through November, they have not been paying attention to the past three years.

      • Mainmata says:

        As I’m sure you already know, Democrats are in a dilemma. They have a clear, impeachable offense, especially one involving potential foreign interference, clearly outlined in the Constitution. OTOH, they have a total lockdown from the GOP from the Administration political appointees to the entire GOP caucus. The likely outcome is to “legitimize” presidential criminality. That way leads to autocracy (and, yes, I understand the GOP thinks this is a good outcome).

        • Rayne says:

          Another one with “This is bad news for Dems.” Really bloody sick of it.

          Read George Lakoff and work on your framing. The Democrats are going to do what their oath of office requires of them: uphold and and defend the Constitution. It’s on the GOP to explain why they suppress democracy in favor of autocracy. It’s on the GOP to explain why they are willing to suppress the rights of more than half of America.

          And as long as the less-engaged public doesn’t hear or learn that the GOP has repeatedly failed the test of democracy, that the GOP is unwilling to keep this republic, they will act on what they know.

        • dude says:

          It seems to me the Democrats in the Senate are going to have to spotlight the failure of the Republican Party as a whole, and specific Republicans in particular, in making their case. I am saying they will have to embarrass the Republicans at every turn, shame them, and not simply talk patriotically about high principles and Constitutional wording. If the impeachment was started by an “urgent” warning from the whistleblower, that urgency has to show in the trial. If the Constitution is in peril, that desperation has to show. If the Republican lack of conscience is the obstacle, they have to be shown for what they are. And if “moderate” Republicans need a space to return with honor, that too needs to be shown. I would like someone to ask Mike Pence to his face,”Do you swear before your God that you knew absolutely nothing about President Trump’s witholding of Ukrainian aid in return for a ‘favor’?”

        • Philip Munger says:

          The Senate is ill equipped to handle what the House is probably going to hand over to them. This will be the first impeachment where the upper house is controlled by the party opposed to the task thrust upon them.

          I think the goal of Democrat Senators should probably bear in mind that they will not get the 2/3rds they need, but that this has been brought before us as a result of the growing power of the unrestrained, bare naked fascist nature of our new technocrats.

          Again, the Senate is ill equipped to deal with this.

        • Rayne says:

          “ill equipped” is really just a lack of numbers AND a Senate Minority Leader who doesn’t have a handle on how to do effective counter-messaging in the age of Facebook.

          The GOP has already telegraphed what they are going to do and Schumer should already be all over it. Lindsey Graham is pushing an investigation into Hunter and Joe Biden and Burisma, which means this is what the Senate trial will be about, not about Trump.

          And where is Schumer’s pre-emptive messaging…? *crickets*

        • bmaz says:

          Where would it stand if Schumer had the intestinal fortitude that McConnell has relentlessly had? Having such resolution is not the same as being McConnell, it is simply that you have the balls to fight him. The Senate Dems seem lost on that.

        • Rayne says:

          I don’t think it’s Schumer’s lack of intestinal fortitude. It’s his deeply-flawed and highly-reflexive perspective that he must accommodate conservatives — the problem is he accommodates the morally indefensible in doing so. It’s both-sides-ism like in journalism, without questioning the morals and ethics of the other side. Sometimes the other side is just fucking evil and wrong.

          Democratic senators need to take a stick to him and re-inform his world view.

        • Cathy says:

          Picking up on prophetic comment of Rayne’s from another post:

          “What keeps me going is knowing something new and better is coming, but the path between burying what’s left of the GOP and birthing the new political reality is going to be incredibly rocky.”

          Is the collapse of the GOP part of a larger generational change to our party system? Not necessarily involving the demise of the two-party system itself, but the factors that hollowed out the GOP may not be specific to Republicans. Maybe the Democrats get to evolve without all the GOP fireworks, but maybe the evolution comes only with turnover.

          It would be very cynical to suppose that the best way Biden’s institutionalism serves the Democrats is as a front-line target, absorbing Trump’s early barrages and shielding the crucible from which a truly forward-looking candidate can yet emerge. But then again, politics has a lot in common with street fighting.

        • Rayne says:

          Is the collapse of the GOP part of a larger generational change to our party system?

          It’s part of a larger generational shift from a country run by a white majority under white (male) supremacy, toward a future where the country is minority white and representation becomes more equitable. It’s part of a generational shift from “free market capitalism” which is neither free nor a true market, and is no longer sustainable due to its gross inequality.

          (And I ask anyone else reading this who feels uncomfortable with the phrase and concept “minority white” or “white (male) supremacy” to examine that sensation carefully before shooting off here.)

        • Paula Benson says:

          I completely agree with you. Also, it is time to get the Constitution of these United States into the hands of the general public. I think too many Americans don’t know anything more about it than the 1st and 2nd Amendments!

        • BobCon says:

          I think the good news is that the media self image as neutral arbiters between two essentially equal sides is fraying. I think one piece of the DC press — hard news reporters — is tired of presenting the GOP as a good faith operator, and impeachment has had a lot to do with that.

          I think the challenge is that the politics side of the press — the less serious reporters and their editors, to be frank — are still invested in the horse race. It’s all they know how to do, and they are dying for this to be over so that they can focus on haircuts and momentum.

          The challenge for the Democrats is to keep the pressure up on Trump in order to starve the pundit side of oxygen. Execs like Baquet and Zucker have made it clear that the NY Times and CNN are committed to repeating the 2016 playbook in 2020. And the appearance of astroturf charter school protestors at Warren’s Atlanta rally make it clear that the GOP and their backers want to feed the beast.

          The advantage of further focus on Trump scandals — as opposed to attempts to pass bills that McConnell will kill — is that it also forces Democrats to stick together. The stupid Hakeem Jeffries sniping at AOC gets locked down.

          This is not to say that the Democrats should ditch issues altogether. They have many winners, such as health care, climate change, and education. But they have to stop seeing a division between the issues and attacks — the key is going to be linking Trump’s corruption to the selling out of the American dream by the GOP, and the alternative offered by the Democratic Party.

          I don’t know if the Democrats have that vision, but at least they have that opportunity over the next eleven months.

  4. dwfreeman says:

    So, Hurd turns out to be just another Texas Republican heard from, a guy without the will to challenge existing political will of a party committed to die on Trump’s watch but unwilling to be on the personal sideline to witness it firsthand when it happens. Another GOPer without principal, allowing a presidential charlatan to dictate their own political death on the strength of his own personal narcissistic whims.

    When the Senate inevitably votes to retain Trump without wiping away the stench of impeachment, they will be left with the stench of that action, and no reason to otherwise sustain themselves as Americans committed to upholding the constitution as primary responsibility of their oath of office.

    • rip says:

      “When the Senate inevitably votes to retain Trump without wiping away the stench of impeachment, they will be left with the stench of that action, and no reason to otherwise sustain themselves as Americans committed to upholding the constitution as primary responsibility of their oath of office.”

      I can’t say it any better than you. Let our memory be long and judgemental.

  5. Valley girl says:

    Hurd is not running for re-election. Perhaps he is eyeing a run for some other office and doesn’t want to lose the crackpot Texas R vote.

  6. Rita says:

    I saw Mr. Hurd’s 5 minutes of fame today.

    He started off ok and then veered sharply right. Maybe Hurd and other Republicans have gotten implants. Maybe he got shocked when he started to veer from the party line?

    • Eureka says:

      Hurd overall, in ways, was like a time-condensed version of Susan Collins in re Kavanaugh: recalling her finale on the Senate floor, the sellout itself was not so surprising — but was shocking in quality and depth of detail.

      • Eureka says:

        Speak of the devil: Lawrence just aired a clip of Mittens & Collins (does that make a Rom Collins — sounds like it tastes awful. Anyway–) denying that their Trump-time today was jury tampering.

    • bmaz says:

      Hi there. How often do you go to courts in this country? Have you ever been to one? I go all at the time and, yes, this is still a rule of law nation. Go to your local or state court. Go serve on a jury if you are so summoned. Until you do, please don’t lecture that the rule of law is dead.

      • P J Evans says:

        It does seem like the laws apply a lot more frequently (and harder) if you’re not a rich white conservative male.
        But I think it was an expression of dismay that Trmp and his associates may get away with everything.

        • bmaz says:

          I am but one person. But I go to local, state, and federal courts regularly. They do not seem to be dead at all. In fact they operate pretty normally. Not always how I wish in any given case, but that is not the measure.

          Most all “law” actually happens in state and local courts, and has nothing to do with the federal issues we discuss here. Anytime some mope carps that “the rule of law is dead”, I know they are a dope that has nary a clue. The “rule of law” may be in peril in several regards on a federal level, which we have written about for over a decade here, but the whole still stands up.

        • P J Evans says:

          There are some prosecutors that we’d probably be better off without – the ones for whom the only good trial is one that results in the defendant going to prison for as long as possible. Justice isn’t in their job description.

        • bmaz says:

          Point out the time when it was not thus as to malevolent prosecutors here, there, and everywhere. It may actually be getting better lately on that front overall.

          But, after all these years, “the rule of law is dead”? Please, spare me. In a few aspects, sure. Overall, no, and only idiots state such.

        • BobCon says:

          I think a more accurate way to think about it is that the justice system parallels a lot of other public institutions in this country, like public education or healh care.

          Often works well, stressed in many ways, broken for some specific but not insignificant groups.

        • bmaz says:

          Sure, absolutely. We sent our child through public schools, from K through university, and they worked wonderfully for her. By the same token, we live where of course they work fine. Other parts of town, maybe not so much.

          It is hard. The problem with public schools is NOT that they are public, but rather that they are not equally supported. And that is a real problem that needs to be addressed. Corrupt charters are not the answer.

          It is not an easy issue though. Parents and community in affluent areas provide support, and always have, that schools in far from affluent areas just do not get. The former is not wrong, parents and citizens should think local, and they do. Figuring out how to get equality to other areas is a goal.

        • milestogo says:

          Very well said something that is perhaps too obvious but not well enough understood. I was fortunate enough to go to public schools in the northern suburbs of Chicago. But it wasn’t until I volunteered to administer the IT of an inner city high school that I fully understood how broad (and unfair) the disparity is. Charter schools just exacerbate the divide. The answer is probably ultimately tax reform with more equal distribution on education.

  7. spiny says:

    Sadly, this is just one more data point that the search for “reasonable” Republicans is pointless. It might have had some minor political value in the past, but no longer now that the Republican party has become the equivalent of a crime syndicate.

  8. earlofhuntingdon says:

    to excuse his own cowardice for refusing to do anything about Trump’s abuse of office.

    Nice turn of phrase. Describes the entire Republican Party of today.

  9. Cherie Clark says:

    This was the last straw for me, I’ve been so hyped and have felt that truth was beginning to shine but as I watched Hurd I just felt like I had been gut punched, I tried to sleep, I tried to walk and then decided to write and email to him. I went to all the trouble to check out his address in Texas and to fill out the form with a correct zip code only to be told that they are too busy and not taking mail at this time. I just wanted to ask Why? How? I’m exhausted with it all.

    • rg says:

      “Not taking mail at this time.”
      When I read this, my blood pressure went up abruptly. Then rereading, I saw the word “email”. Several years ago, I became annoyed at the weekly deluge of junk mail that I had to walk over to the recycle bin and contribute the taxpayer subsidized bulk-mail effluent to the local waste management program. I tried to get the postal service to remove my address from the delivery list. I was told the the govt has a contract to deliver the mail and was powerless to refuse to do so. When I tried to get the publisher of the mailed material to desist, I was told that the distributor had a contractual obligation to provide a given volume of mail and could not … well, you get the idea. But snail mail is another way of getting a message across to someone who wishes to be unavailable.

  10. Pete T says:

    My impossible holiday wish is for Zelenskyy or those close to him to TRUTHFULLY set the record straight from their point of view.

    He could pivot away from the US and more towards the EU if not (eventually) NATO both of which Trump is iffy towards.

  11. dadidoc1 says:

    All of this makes me wonder if the Republicans are all compromised. Photos with Maria Butina perhaps? Who knows?

    • pseudonymous in nc says:

      I think some of them are. The president’s real business is buying or manufacturing dirt on his enemies while paying to suppress his own dirt.

      But it doesn’t matter. Moral cowardice is moral cowardice.

      • BobCon says:

        I think most of them are with him by choice. The GOP has been trending rotten for a long time, and I think much of the rest of the country is in denial about how bad it has gotten.

        • Vicks says:

          It has been “trending rotten” for so long because the traditional Republican system of clearing all obstacles that stand between white heterosexual men holding power over the entire population doesn’t belong in this century and their leaders know it.
          Since they cant sell the majority on this bullshit any more, rather than evolve they have made a conscious decision to do whatever it takes to survive as is.
          And here we are.
          “Winning” means federal court judges that will agree that forcing a woman to have a baby is gods work, and a president attempting to win round two again with the help of a foreign government is the only chance they have of hanging on

    • Maureen A Donnelly says:

      I think the answers lie in the emails Guccifer 2.0 hacked from the RNC but NEVER RELEASED. My hypothesis is that Putin SHOWED the “leadership” the emails and informed them that lining up was the only way to keep their dirty secrets in the dark. Nobody speaks of this. I wonder why?

  12. Lou Shapiro says:

    Here is my take…The Republican believe that their only chance to keep Power in Senate is to hope/prey that the Russians can pull there magic again in 2020!

  13. JAFive says:

    “It’d be insane” for Giuliani to testify. But he is insane, right? I think he can’t help himself, loves the attention, and all that.

    Maybe it was disingenuous for Hurd to say he wants to hear from Giuliani, but I think Dems should jump on it on a now “bipartisan” basis. I think it helps put the pressure on for the others as well.

    • P J Evans says:

      The committee has been fairly kind to the Republican members. They’ve even had three (at least) witnesses chosen by the Rs.

    • earlofhuntingdon says:

      Intended distraction and waste of time. It’s like believing Trump when he says he really wants, a) to sit for an interview with Mueller, b) to testify before a Democratically-controlled House committee, or c) intends to make public his last six years tax returns, just as soon as the IRS finishes its [non-existent] audit. He’s giving a poor imitation of Eddie Haskell.

      Giuliani is the target in a federal investigation. He would never show. If he did, he would and should take the Fifth, and Trump would scream executive and attorney-client privilege until they had to cart him off again to Walter Reed. That was rather the point of EW’s comment.

  14. Savage Librarian says:

    The Hurd Locker: the entire GOP has synchronized their goose-steps, marching together into that public box to crucify the Constitution. Putin’s MICE conquered the GOP men and women. Together they have placed us in a world of pain.

    But there are plenty of voters watching who will not tolerate the betrayal of the rule of law. Just like the Queen of England who finally held her own son to account, the Constitution and the American people will hold the GOP and POTUS to account, no matter how wrenching that will be.

  15. Tullalove says:

    Hurd’s speech is indeed a gut-punch. He’s done pretty well to keep up an intel credibility as a representative in a contested district, and people down here (south Texas) will almost always give deference to credible veterans, which is not a bad impulse. It seems to me, though, he’s done with electoral politics, given the crazy rightward tilt of GOP in Texas. But he (with savvy) sees little to help his future in consulting/lobbying/ owning a business in the intel realm by being the guy who went against Trump in impeachment. Ugly times, but, to paraphrase a bad movie, everyone now is looking out for number one, while trying not to step in number two.

  16. OldTulsaDude says:

    The big question to me is this: Why has the Republican Party elected to partner with the Russian Security services in the dissemination of Russian propaganda in direct conflict with the interests of the United States and its allies?

    • Matthew Harris says:

      That is the biggest question for me. And that is the most dangerous thing that is happening: that Trump has managed to erode so many people’s sense of reality.

      There are Republicans that I don’t agree with on policy but that I otherwise thought were sane, rational people. And at first you could see them trying to do something about Trump, but then…they stopped trying to fight.

      As far as I can guess, what happened is that the got so wrapped up in “winning” the 24 hour news cycle (which became the 6 hour Twitter cycle), that they stopped thinking about what the game represented. Manufacturing outrage over a gaffe, or defending against it, for the sake of the portion of the population that follows the cable news cycle, became such an important facet of being a politician, that they started to forget there was anything beyond that game. They set out to spin talk shows, and they did that steadily until now they are pretty much openly saying that a president shaking down foreign countries for favors is no big deal.

      Remember the old anti-drug PSA “no one says I want to be a junkie when I grow up”…pretty much, that.

    • Fran of the North says:

      The ‘Pubs have made a deal with the devil. Always power hungry, they have gone from ‘minor’ political hijinks to more consequential acts against democracy like voter suppression.

      Money buys favors and wins elections. There are any number of actors willing to offer substantial sums for influence, and some of those are unsavory foreign types. The problem for the ‘Pubs now is that they’re so dirty they don’t know how to come clean.

      A day or reckoning is coming. Hopefully our country survives.

      • P J Evans says:

        I’d describe them as they’ve been getting dirty for so long that they’ve forgotten what clean is, or even less dirty.

    • Eureka says:

      emptywheel Retweeted

      Jennifer Epstein‏Verified account @jeneps 2h2 hours ago
      More from Biden on Graham: “I am disappointed, and quite frankly I’m angered by the fact. He knows me. He knows my son. He knows there’s nothing to this. Trump is now essentially holding power over him that even the Ukrainians wouldn’t yield to.”


      So Trump has more power over Graham than he has over the Ukrainians: does that mean Putin has more power over Trump than he does over Ukraine? Shirley, I jest **shivers** and it’s more a measure of Graham’s spine than the power of his overlords.

      The video linked above by ‘Lindsey Graham’s (fake) conscience’* (a new parody account by Barry Rubin of Rule of Law Republicans) features Lindsey going on at length about how well and how much he knows and admires Biden. (The video itself is credited to HuffPo in the thread.)

      *nym apparently updated today

      • P J Evans says:

        I watched part (if not all) of that video and couldn’t help noticing that Lindsey couldn’t be bothered to wear a seat belt. Which puts him into the category of “people who think it only happens to others”. (I’ve met some. They’re not as smart as they like to think.)

        • Eureka says:

          I noticed, too! Though Graham may be belt-less for any number of reasons, behavior like that is common in people who rate themselves as at lower risk than average (lol, that word) for any given risk than “everybody else”– a common bias that can lead to trouble.

          Nice to see he’s not buckled up for his ride against Jaime Harrison, though (his Trumpy-Putin air-money bag may be defective).

        • Eureka says:

          (I was agreeing with PJ while not calling out the fact that LG might be avoiding emphasis on his man boobs on camera, and sometimes implicit is not the way to go.)

        • P J Evans says:

          With a jacket on, and the camera aiming at his face (or sometimes the scenery), they’d be fairly unnoticeable.

  17. sproggit says:

    Apparently Japanese folklore had a slight under-count.

    It seems that there aren’t three wise monkeys – there are 253 – Mizaru (“See No Evil”), Kikazaru (“Hear No Evil”), Iwazaru (“Speak No Evil”), plus 53 Republican Senators and 197 Republican House Representatives.

  18. sproggit says:

    Here’s a slightly different thought – kind of a “pop quiz” time…

    What justifiable, plausible reasons could there be for the Republican Party, down the pretty much the last elected representative, to sacrifice their integrity for Trump?

    1. Fear. We know that Trump behaves like a mafia Don and that he demands absolute fealty from his subordinates. We know that when he doesn’t get it, his attacks are ruthless, scathing and incessant. We know that he connects better with his base than the elected representatives do. So theory #1 is that the entire congressional Republican party live in individual fear of being hounded out of office.
    2. Greed (1). The combination of gerrymanding electoral districts, stuffing the bench with 160+ federal judges and getting a majority on the Supreme Court gives the Republican party an overwhelming power. It might be possible that all 250 of them are just drunk on power.
    3. Greed (2). We also know that being in a position of power in a governmental structure as open to corruption as this one means that “campaign donations” and “favors” and “directorships on leaving office” are all going to be items of consideration. But when a congressperson is being sponsored by a *very* wealth donor that has a dark agenda – changing legislation, winning federal contracts, etc. – then it is necessary to stay in power to collect that post-office pay-check.
    4. Something else. (Have at it – what other options are there)?

    As Sherlock Holmes would offer us: “Once you remove the impossible, whatever is left, no matter how improbable, is the truth.” So what, exactly, does this leave us with?

    • dude says:

      “What justifiable, plausible reasons could there be for the Republican Party, down the pretty much the last elected representative, to sacrifice their integrity for Trump?

      I submit this: They discovered they like it.

      • TooLoose LeTruck says:

        Addicted to power?

        Also… he’s led them into a box canyon, as far as I can see… they’re trapped now… if they admit to any of this, they lose completely…

        That’s too bad… it seems like they’re playing high stakes poker and pushed all their chips into the pot on a bad hand, and now they’re trying to bluff their way thru this…

  19. SomeGuyInMaine says:

    So, a Hurd mentality after all.

    If the door hits him on the way out, at least we know he won’t suffer a spine injury.

    “We are better than this.” We need to be.

  20. milestogo says:

    Very well said regarding funding disparity – something that is perhaps too obvious to us but not well enough understood in general. I was fortunate enough to go to public schools in the northern suburbs of Chicago. But it wasn’t until I volunteered to administer the IT of an inner city high school that I fully understood how broad (and unfair) the funding disparity is. Charter schools just exacerbate the divide. The answer is probably ultimately tax reform with more equal distribution on education.

  21. PeterS says:

    The Republicans are so upset about this investigation being started by a whistle-blower; perhaps they also wish to close anonymous tip lines to the law enforcement agencies.

  22. P J Evans says:

    Just seen elseweb:

    A driver was stuck in a traffic jam on the highway outside Washington, DC Nothing was moving.
    Suddenly, a man knocks on the window.
    The driver rolls down the window and asks, “What’s going on?”
    “Terrorists have kidnapped the entire US Congress, and they’re asking for a $100 million dollar ransom. Otherwise, they are going to douse them all in gasoline and set them on fire. We are going from car to car, collecting donations.”
    “How much is everyone giving, on an average?” the driver asks.
    The man replies, “Roughly a gallon.”

  23. holdingsteady says:

    Thank you for highlighting this, I wasn’t aware that Hurd was one of the republicans to hang some hope on, so to speak – thus was spared the gut punch. Your twitter link enlightened me.

    I began fast forwarding at the end of the hearing as even democrats were hard to listen to. I wish the democrats had allocated more of their time to Fiona, especially after republicans shut the witnesses down with their angry and unreasonable speeches.

    Anybody else think this impeachment can gain traction as America digests what we’ve heard? I’m thinking Nadler, while smart, in Judiciary might need help… could Maloney join judiciary? He was charismatic and clear in communication.

  24. holdingsteady says:

    Regarding EWs 5th bullet where Hurd idiotically and disingenuously calls the ‘diplomatic’ efforts to achieve political gain ‘bungling’, it’s at least some comfort that they bungled pulling off the corrupt act . Sondland, along with everything else he is, seems to be a master bungler.

    Editing to say, I understand that much damage has been done and don’t mean to make light of it. But for the WB and brave witnesses, we’d be in the dark.

    • holdingsteady says:

      I was curious who is on house judiciary committee


      Democratic member overlaps with intelligence committee that I noticed are Val Demings and Eric Swalwell.
      Where will we go from here? I’ll look here on EW to get my info, thanks to all of you smart analysts!
      Happy Thanksgiving next week:)

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