Teri Kanefield
+ Your AuthorsArchive @Teri_Kanefield Author, lawyer (UC Berkeley) My threads are here: terikanefield-blog.com/ NBC News Opinion contributor Impeachment notes: impeachment-trump.com/ Apr. 24, 2019 3 min read

(Thread) Impeachment: Preliminary Considerations

💠Trump supporters are mounting an attack on truth & reality itself
💠More than 1/3 of the nation supports the attack
💠Without shared reality, legal proceedings may be a sham.

The GOP isn't having trouble getting to the truth⤵️

1/ GOP leadership is deliberately distorting the truth—and MAGA people eagerly tout the “party line” and repeat the lies, knowing they are lies.

Now, don’t get me wrong. Some of the MAGA people are genuinely fooled. But I think this number is fewer than you might suppose.

2/ Most of them know it’s a lie, and they cheer the lies.

I’ve written about why that is in this Slate article:

It’s important to understand why so many Trump supporters are okay with the fact that their leadership is lying.

3/ In a nut shell, Trump and his supporters want to destroy the political establishment because of what Hahl, Kim, & Sivan call a crisis of legitimacy in their article, “The Authentic Appeal of the Lying Demagogue."

4/ A “crisis of legitimacy” happens when people don’t think the government governs on their behalf. They embrace the lies because they see them as inherently destructive—and they want to destroy.

Hannah Arendt in👇also talks about how followers can justify their leader's lies.

5/ When a demagogue’s followers learn that he has lied, “instead of deserting the leaders who had lied to them, they would protest that they had known all along that the statement was a lie and would admire the leaders for their superior tactical cleverness.”

6/ The GOP strategy of unleashing a torrent of lies is what the Rand Institute calls the Firehose of Falsehood propaganda strategy.

The Rand Institute explains why trying to refute each lie with the truth doesn’t work.

7/ If you’re new to my feed and you missed it, I explained it here:

Some people are saying things like this: If we don’t impeach XX will happen (or not happen).

Others are saying, essentially: if we do impeach, YY will happen (or not happen).

8/ Take all such absolutes with a grain of salt. Nobody has a crystal ball. There are too many variables and too many unknowns.

One hope (fantasy, perhaps) for impeachment proceedings is that if the truth is put in front of enough Americans . . .

9/ . . .Americans will understand the level of corruption and lawbreaking in the GOP, and Trump and the GOP will lose support.

This assumes that the Firehose of Falsehood technique will not utterly confuse large numbers of people.

10/ With so many members of the GOP and Trump supporters on board with lies, others may throw up their hands and say, “all politicians are corrupt liars,” or “we can never really know what happened,” or “what Trump did wasn’t so bad or different from what others have done.”

11/ Another hope (fantasy perhaps) is that the truth will be so overwhelming that the Senate will remove, Trump will face consequences for his actions, everyone will learn their lessons, and we will all live happily ever after.

12/ One problem with this hope is that Trump is the symptom of a larger problem: a large segment of Americans view Trump as the savior of America. Many will not budge, and they are potentially dangerous. Removing a President they see as a savior can ignite something ugly.

13/ If we keep the dangers firmly in mind (and proceed with caution) I see good reasons to begin impeachment investigations.
And actually, it seems the House is already doing this without using the word “impeachment," which could trigger a dangerous situation.

14/ If handled correctly, impeachment proceedings can splinter the GOP into two halves that can no longer work together. One part of the GOP are the die-hard MAGAs for whom MAGA means "take America back to a bygone era when white men could do as they pleased."

15/ Getting to this result requires torpedoing rule of law, which in turn requires undermining reality itself.

The other part of the GOP, the true conservatives, are uncomfortable with this. They want to fall in line, but they really don't want to destroy our institutions.

16/ A positive outcome from impeachment proceedings would be to forever divide the GOP into these two halves, making it impossible for the far right wing to achieve electoral majorities.

I'll write more on impeachment (and the dangers of impeachment) in future threads.


All of my threads are blog posts. You can view this one here:

You can follow @Teri_Kanefield.


Tip: mention @threader_app on a Twitter thread with the keyword “compile” to get a link to it.

Enjoy Threader? Sign up.

Since you’re here...

... we’re asking visitors like you to make a contribution to support this independent project. In these uncertain times, access to information is vital. Threader gets 1,000,000+ visits a month and our iOS Twitter client was featured as an App of the Day by Apple. Your financial support will help two developers to keep working on this app. Everyone’s contribution, big or small, is so valuable. Support Threader by becoming premium or by donating on PayPal. Thank you.

Follow Threader