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  1. #1

    Default Now That We're Going to Have an Open Seat...Conyers Resigns

    Who will replace John Conyers? He hasn't declared he won't run yet, but I give it a week until that comes down. With documentation, multiple allegations and taxpayers helping him get off the hook, I don't think he'd even try to run again. I doubt he'll resign, though. FWIW, contrary to word on the street, I'm a little surprised his victims are female.

    http://www.freep.com/story/news/poli...eed/883868001/

  2. #2

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    You know, this coming out of the woodwork doesn't surprise me. Next year is the only hope we may have of getting rid of Donald Trump and now all of these sexual harassment accusations coming out.

    If the Congress and the Senate remains in republican hands, we have to deal with Trump for 2 more years. That would mean a lot of hardship for the middle class.

    Next, we're probably going to hear about all the republicans standing by the President even if he gets charged with sexual misconduct.

  3. #3

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    I think there are tons of politicians on both sides guilty of such wrongdoing. Personally, I think anyone caught harassing or assaulting should get kicked out, as should any members who participated or knew about a cover-up. I don't think this current public outing of assaulters has much to do with the President directly, nor do I think the Conyers situation affects the balance of power in Washington: there is no plausible scenario where John Conyers wouldn't be replaced by a liberal Democrat.

    I am a conservative, and no fan whatsoever of the President, but I think there is little chance of impeachment. There are several reasons, among them: 1) the earliest the Democrats might control the House is January 2019; 2) desire by Congress to introduce articles of impeachment for offenses more than a few members of Congress are thought to be guilty of themselves is low; 3) willingness of Democrats from districts Trump carried to impeach will be low; 4) the ability to get 67 Senators to agree to convict would be very difficult. In all likelihood, Donald Trump will be the President until Jan 20, 2021.

    Tig3rzhark, one tiny pet peeve: in your post I think you meant to write "If the House and the Senate..." "Congress" refers to both chambers. It is sort of like saying "I love my parents and my mom." That error has annoyed me for ages. And everyone does it...

  4. #4
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    All of the sexual harassment allegations are the 'wild cards' in the current governing environment not for the GOP controlled House but the Senate.

    The Senate today is 52 - 48.

    Possible that come January when the Senate reconvenes that it could be 51 - 49 after the Alabama election is decided (let's say odds are 50 - 50 of that happening).

    One senator, McCain, has a very problematic health future and one never knows what and when his treatments will be.

    So one scenario (if McCain is absent and the Dems win AL) is 50 (R), 49 (D) and 1 (absent).

    That would mean if ONE GOP senator flips the Dems would defeat GOP legislation 49 - 50 - 1.

    Where it gets more dicey, and as suggested by the topic of this thread, is what IF one or more senators resign for allegations which may come up?

    Who knows if there is a political bomb out there which may drop. A Dem senator? A GOP senator?

  5. #5

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    Reportedly, more than $15M in taxpayer money has been used to settle harassment allegations. If the Conyers payoff rate is typical, there would be about 600 such payoffs. While I bet some members (not necessarily still in office) account for many payoffs each, that is still a lot of members affected. Most significant if there are "big" members on the list (Conyers is fairly powerless in the minority party). I wish they'd release all info, but of course, Congress is exempt from FOIA requests. Damn Congress.

  6. #6

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    I'm not convinced at all that this is enough to sink Conyers, given his strength in his district and the reluctance of any other Democrat to meaningfully challenge him in a primary. The only question is if he will want to continue fighting such battles at his advanced age. The Democrats will lose a lot of seniority if/when he goes, but there is no danger at all that that seat will not continue to be a Democratic one.

  7. #7

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    Eastside, I agree that this might not make him want to give up the seat. But I don't think Detroit or Michigan Democrats who want a future will be willing to take the hits they will for not opposing him. And I think it would cause him to lose a competitive primary (if there were a credible opponent). Additionally, with a Senate, gubernatorial and legislative races in 2018, I don't think Democrats will want a Conyers pervy payout cloud hanging over them.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by EastsideAl View Post
    I'm not convinced at all that this is enough to sink Conyers, given his strength in his district and the reluctance of any other Democrat to meaningfully challenge him in a primary. The only question is if he will want to continue fighting such battles at his advanced age. The Democrats will lose a lot of seniority if/when he goes, but there is no danger at all that that seat will not continue to be a Democratic one.
    Time for the House to act. Start making these records public. Let the chips fall where they may.

    I haven't heard anything about 'cleaning house (or cleaning the "House") from Speaker Ryan.

  9. #9
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    I have never worked on the Hill but have a general understanding of the power structure there:

    Simply, each MoC (house or senate) is like a king or queen of his/her own little empire. His/her office is his/her empire. Hire/fire, take trips, run their own budgets, etc.

    When they sit on the dais and hold congressional hearings, they are like little gods.

    They really don't answer to anyone for the most part and only the voters if the voters become aware of something. But as indicated in all of these articles staffers find it very difficult to come forward because of the power which the MoC wields.

    It might not be a great analogy but a MoC is like a bishop in the Catholic Church. The bishop is literally king of his diocese with broad powers. Only if the bishop really goes off the rails does he face sanction from Rome.
    Last edited by emu steve; November-21-17 at 01:18 PM.

  10. #10

    Default

    Honestly, Steve, I think Bishops (especially now) operate with more scrutiny than members of Congress.

  11. #11

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by MikeyinBrooklyn View Post
    I think there are tons of politicians on both sides guilty of such wrongdoing. Personally, I think anyone caught harassing or assaulting should get kicked out...
    On assault, I agree wholeheartedly. On harassment, we should be more careful. Harassment is unacceptable, but its also a more ambiguous crime. Let's not allow accusations to be enough. I know defending the perp is unpopular, but its also our law to legally presume innocence.
    Quote Originally Posted by MikeyinBrooklyn View Post
    ...
    there is no plausible scenario where John Conyers wouldn't be replaced by a liberal Democrat.
    There was also no plausible scenario where Trump would be elected President. Many implausible things are happening.

    Let me add a #5 to your list. Trump is a womanizer. Unless he acted inappropriately (not just talk), he's safe. The people with bigger problems are the Frankens who publicly say they are protectors of women, but are (he's admitted it) really harassers. Nobody was surprised by Trump being vulgar and offensive. Everybody was surprised by Franken.
    Last edited by Wesley Mouch; November-21-17 at 01:46 PM.

  12. #12

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by EastsideAl View Post
    I'm not convinced at all that this is enough to sink Conyers, given his strength in his district and the reluctance of any other Democrat to meaningfully challenge him in a primary. The only question is if he will want to continue fighting such battles at his advanced age. The Democrats will lose a lot of seniority if/when he goes, but there is no danger at all that that seat will not continue to be a Democratic one.
    There is no one in that district with the clout to unseat Conyers without the national party cutting all ties to Conyers and shifting all support/funding to his primary challenger. That seat belongs to Conyers until the day he decides he doesn't want it anymore.

    That being said, he should resign. Well he probably should have retired a few years ago and gone out gracefully instead of trying to hang on for as long as humanly possible and now seeing his career end on a disgraceful note.

    Liberals should not give him a pass. He needs to be pressured to go. This is hardly his first indiscretion, there was also the dustup a decade ago when he got busted using his staffers and office resources purely for his personal use, like having Congressional employees babysit his kids and drive them to school. So this isn't even his first strike.

  13. #13

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    Quote Originally Posted by Wesley Mouch View Post
    On assault, I agree wholeheartedly. On harassment, we should be more careful. Harassment is unacceptable, but its also a more ambiguous crime. Let's not allow accusations to be enough. I know defending the perp is unpopular, but its also our law to legally presume innocence.
    "Innocent until proven guilty" applies to the court of law, not the court of public opinion. We're all entitled to our opinions. Nobody is calling for Conyers, Franken, or most of these guys to be charged with crimes. And in fact, almost none of them will be. Roy Moore is not going to be doing a perp walk; not tomorrow, not a week from now, not a year from now. Nor will Kevin Spacey most likely. Or Charlie Rose. Or John Conyers. Virtually none of these men who have been in the news recently for this kind of behavior will ever face anything more harsh than simple damage to their reputations and careers, or perhaps a civil suit at worst. Harvey Weinstein and perhaps one or two others may face actual criminal charges, but that will be the exception, not the rule.

    Quote Originally Posted by Wesley Mouch View Post
    Let me add a #5 to your list. Trump is a womanizer. Unless he acted inappropriately (not just talk), he's safe. The people with bigger problems are the Frankens who publicly say they are protectors of women, but are (he's admitted it) really harassers. Nobody was surprised by Trump being vulgar and offensive. Everybody was surprised by Franken.
    Your argument seems to imply that it's a good thing to set the expectations for your own behavior so insanely low that no one will be surprised when you do something awful. So you're saying that Trump, being a proud lifelong misogynist and womanizer, is better than Franken because we shouldn't be surprised when Trump treats women as sex objects instead of human beings because he's fundamentally a terrible human being? That's the PREFERRED option here?

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by MikeyinBrooklyn View Post
    Honestly, Steve, I think Bishops (especially now) operate with more scrutiny than members of Congress.
    Probably true.

    Members of Congress still have the power to hire/fire/promote, etc. etc.

    That dynamic still holds for bishops and priests, but not for the laity or the media, etc.

    I assume any member of the laity, media, etc. could go (communicate) with the Apostolic Nuncio (that the Pope's representation in the U.S.).
    Last edited by emu steve; November-21-17 at 03:04 PM.

  15. #15

    Default

    1) Conyers is very unlikely to be beaten in an election in that district. He's really old, and maybe he will resign under pressure, but if he runs, he has an extremely good chance of winning.

    2) Lots of things are not plausible, but that doesn't make them equally unlikely. The US is more-or-less evenly split between Democrats and Republican voters, plus or minus a few points. Conyers' district is D+32, so let's call a Republican winning that district very implausible.

    3) There is more than one way that Trump could leave office before Jan 2020; impeachment is only one of them. Electing Democrats in 2018 probably increases the chances he departs early, but not by a lot.

  16. #16

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Tig3rzhark View Post
    You know, this coming out of the woodwork doesn't surprise me. Next year is the only hope we may have of getting rid of Donald Trump and now all of these sexual harassment accusations coming out.

    If the Congress and the Senate remains in republican hands, we have to deal with Trump for 2 more years. That would mean a lot of hardship for the middle class.

    Next, we're probably going to hear about all the republicans standing by the President even if he gets charged with sexual misconduct.
    Trump only speaks of grabbing puss in a context that can't be denied. Didn't say he did it. These other sleaze bags have actually acted on it. I'll take Trumps position unless you can show evidence otherwise. And on the subject of "talking shit", if that was a prosecutable crime, we'd all be locked up.

  17. #17

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    Quote Originally Posted by SammyS View Post
    Trump only speaks of grabbing puss in a context that can't be denied. Didn't say he did it. These other sleaze bags have actually acted on it. I'll take Trumps position unless you can show evidence otherwise.
    Because the pussy-grabbing tape is the only evidence we've ever seen of Trump being a sexually-aggressive, misogynist womanizer, right?

    Fact: Trump has been accused over the years by no fewer than 16 different women of either sexual harassment of sexual misconduct.

    https://www.npr.org/2016/10/13/49779...sexual-conduct

    http://nymag.com/daily/intelligencer...-accusers.html

    So here's my question for you Sammy: how do you know that these other men have "actually acted on it?" Your words. These men have been accused (just as Donald Trump repeatedly has) but I'm not aware of anyone being convicted in a court of law for anything. Did you personally witness any of this? It seems to me that whether or not you believe an accusation is based entirely on whether or not you like the politics of the person being accused.

    So why is Trump telling the truth, but John Conyers is lying? Either accusers get the benefit of the doubt...or they don't. You don't get to pick and choose and say that the women accusing Democrats are automatically to be believed without question and all the women accusing Republicans are automatically lying.

    16 women have accused Donald Trump of sexual wrongdoing. 16. And these accusations in many instances long predate Trump's political career. Are these women lying? ALL of them? ALL 16 of them?

  18. #18
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    What is most interesting is if the Dems get the house in 2018 and begin impeachment hearings.

    The ranking member would be Conyers.

    I'll bet 'dollars to donuts' that the Dems would prefer Nadler (D-N.Y.) over Conyers. I watch a lot of the political stuff, and Nadler is very competent. Conyers is, quite frankly, over the hill and not particularly effective.

    My guess is for no other than political strategizing, that the Dem leadership would be happy to see Conyers step aside now or Nov. 2018.

    For those who are of Watergate age, the chairman of the Judiciary Committee was Peter Rodino.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United..._the_Judiciary
    Last edited by emu steve; November-22-17 at 09:33 AM.

  19. #19

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by emu steve View Post
    What is most interesting is if the Dems get the house in 2018 and begin impeachment hearings.

    The ranking member would be Conyers.

    I'll bet 'dollars to donuts' that the Dems would prefer Nadler (D-N.Y.) over Conyers. I watch a lot of the political stuff, and Nadler is very competent. Conyers is, quite frankly, over the hill and not particularly effective.

    My guess is for no other than political strategizing, that the Dem leadership would be happy to see Conyers step aside now or Nov. 2018.

    For those who are of Watergate age, the chairman of the Judiciary Committee was Peter Rodino.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United..._the_Judiciary
    I don't see the Dems moving forward on impeachment until Robert Mueller concludes his investigation and releases his final report or, prior to that, some smoking gun is revealed. The real power in taking back the House (and/or the Senate) in 2018 is the control of committees and being able to use those committees to launch investigations.

    But you're right, Democrats would prefer to see someone else in Conyers' seat as chair of the Judiciary Committee. Conyers is old and he's been saddled with ethics issues for years now. He should have retired years ago instead of hanging on to power for dear life as long as possible and letting his reputation suffer for it.

  20. #20

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    His son will run and win but after being caught with a dead hooker in his trunk and a pocket full of blow, Conyers the Younger will bow out around 2026 or so

  21. #21

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    Conyers should have been declared non compos mentis the day he married Monica.

  22. #22

    Default

    What is that smacking sound? Did I just hear Coleman Young Jr. licking his chops at Conyers' downfall?

  23. #23

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    Quote Originally Posted by Lowell View Post
    What is that smacking sound? Did I just hear Coleman Young Jr. licking his chops at Conyers' downfall?
    Wouldn't surprise me one bit. But Detroit voters never did care for anything but a name.

  24. #24

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    What the EEOC says:
    "Harassment can include “sexual harassment” or unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, and other verbal or physical harassment of a sexual nature.

    Harassment does not have to be of a sexual nature, however, and can include offensive remarks about a person’s sex. For example, it is illegal to harass a woman by making offensive comments about women in general.

    Both victim and the harasser can be either a woman or a man, and the victim and harasser can be the same sex.

    Although the law doesn’t prohibit simple teasing, offhand comments, or isolated incidents that are not very serious, harassment is illegal when it is so frequent or severe that it creates a hostile or offensive work environment or when it results in an adverse employment decision (such as the victim being fired or demoted).

    The harasser can be the victim's supervisor, a supervisor in another area, a co-worker, or someone who is not an employee of the employer, such as a client or customer."

    If the person making the harassment claim gets to decide what is "unwelcome", "offensive", frequent or severe", or "an adverse employment decision" then anything could be called harassment.

  25. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by aj3647 View Post
    I don't see the Dems moving forward on impeachment until Robert Mueller concludes his investigation and releases his final report or, prior to that, some smoking gun is revealed. The real power in taking back the House (and/or the Senate) in 2018 is the control of committees and being able to use those committees to launch investigations.

    But you're right, Democrats would prefer to see someone else in Conyers' seat as chair of the Judiciary Committee. Conyers is old and he's been saddled with ethics issues for years now. He should have retired years ago instead of hanging on to power for dear life as long as possible and letting his reputation suffer for it.
    I remember Watergate in 1972 - 4, which started with Nixon's re-election and its committee, CREEP, became news in '73 and impeachment and resignation, 1974, and the Democratic victories. And, of course, Ford lost in 1976 in the next presidential election.

    Trump has his electoral controversy (2016), investigation (2017), and could face impeachment and off-year elections in 2018.

    This seems almost like a replay of 1972 except it is updated to 21st century times (e.g., email, social media, etc.).

    What I can't guess is if impeachment could begin in 2018 or would it wait for 2019, as you suggest when the Dems might control the House.
    Last edited by emu steve; November-23-17 at 11:57 AM.

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