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The Silver Lining Of An Oil Price Crash


It has been a dismal week for oil prices despite a slight recovery on Friday morning, but there may be a silver lining to the most recent price crash.

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Oil rebounded on Friday but it was not enough to erase the roughly 7 percent meltdown seen on Thursday. The trade war is starting to become a top concern for global equity and commodity markets. As of mid-day, WTI was trading above $58 per barrel and Brent moved above $67, somewhat mitigating what has otherwise been a dismal week. On the upside, the plunge in prices and the renewed bearishness undercuts the rationale for OPEC+ to increase production. “It is reasonable to doubt whether Saudi Arabia will be willing to step up its output given the latest decline in prices,” analysts at Commerzbank said. “We therefore expect to see higher oil prices again in the near future.”

Chinese demand takes a hit. Demand for fuels in China is showing weakness, with teapot refineries seeing inventories building up. Gasoline inventories in Shandong province have surged to their highest level since 2011, according to Bloomberg. The refiners are losing $8 on every barrel they produce. “It’s all because of very sluggish downstream demand, especially on the gasoline side,” Gao Jian, an oil analyst at Zhao Jin Futures, told Bloomberg. Refiners are starting to cut run rates.

U.S. threatens sanctions on Venezuelan jet fuel. In a bid to tighten the screws further, the U.S. told several European trading houses to stop selling Venezuela jet fuel or else they will face sanctions.

China signals rare earths cut off to U.S. Chinese President Xi Jingping took a trip to a rare earths plant during a domestic tour this week, which analysts took as a signal that the government is considering using its rare earths export as a weapon in its trade war with the United States. China accounted for about 71 percent of mined rare earth elements last year, and an even higher ratio of processed rare earths, according to Reuters. The U.S. relies on China for 80 percent of its imports. However, any cut off would be detrimental to China as well.

U.S. manufacturing activity weak. U.S. manufacturing growth fell to its lowest reading in nearly a decade, a sign that the trade war may be impacting the economy. IHS Markit said its Purchasing Managers Index (PMI) declined to 50.6 in May, the lowest level since September 2009. Anything below 50 is an outright contraction. Separately, in a speech this week, U.S. Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell warned about rising corporate debt.

Total looks to sell stake in Kashagan. Total SA (NYSE: TOT) is hoping to sell part of its stake in the Kashagan oil field, the massive field in Kazakhstan. Total has a 16.8 percent stake and is looking to raise $4 billion by selling a third of its position. Kashagan was the world’s most expensive oil project.

Talos Energy eyes Anadarko’s offshore assets. Talos Energy (NYSE: TALO) is interested in buying some of Anadarko Petroleum’s (NYSE: APC) deepwater assets in the Gulf of Mexico.

Shell starts up Appomattox platform. Royal Dutch Shell (NYSE: RDS.A) started up its Appomattox platform in the Gulf of Mexico ahead of schedule. The project is the only major platform expected to come online in the Gulf this year. It is expected to produce 175,000 bpd.

Russian oil contamination not over. Russia tried to quickly resolve the oil contamination problem through its Druzhba pipeline but hit a setback this week. French oil company Total SA (NYSE: TOT) saw its Leuna refinery damaged, and reports suggest it may have been linked to receiving contaminated oil. The largest-ever outage to hit Russia may continue.

Oil volatility set to jump. Despite the series of supply outages and the prospect of an escalating trade war, oil price volatility had been rather subdued this year. That is, until this week. A new report predicts that the oil market is in for a “bumpy ride” in the second half of the year.

BP to look at frontier exploration. After several years of pursuing more cautious tie-back projects offshore, BP (NYSE: BP) said that it was considering more ambitious frontier exploration. It’s a sign that the oil majors are willing to take on greater risk once again, after several years of stepping back.

Pipeline protestors push back. Texas became the latest state to pass draconian punishments for protestors interrupting oil and gas pipeline construction, measures intended to prevent a repeat of the Dakota Access protests. However, the laws are now facing litigation.

U.S. gearing up to sanction Nord Stream 2. Bipartisan momentum is building for sanctions on companies that help build the Nord Stream 2 pipeline. The U.S. views the pipeline as a geostrategic threat, hooking Europe on Russian gas. But it would also impact U.S. LNG exporters, adding an extra impetus to lawmakers to try to halt the pipeline.

Norway’s oil output falls to a three-decade low. Norway’s oil production fell to 1.38 mb/d in April, down from 1.531 mb/d a year ago.

Energy storage in U.S. to double. U.S. energy storage capacity is expected to double this year to 712 megawatts, up from 376 MW last year.

Pioneer slashes 25 percent of workforce. Pioneer Natural Resources (NYSE: PXD) announced that it was laying off 25 percent of its workforce, a move that could save it $100 million.

Saudi Arabia to buy U.S. LNG. Saudi Aramco agreed to buy LNG from Sempra Energy’s (NYSE: SRE) Port Arthur LNG project. Aramco may also take a 25 percent stake in the project. The deal is a dramatic role reversal, with the U.S. sending energy to Saudi Arabia, rather than the other way around.

Texas ranch sells for $450 million. Bloomberg reports on how a remote Texas ranch is set to be sold for $450 million, all because of the land’s water resources. Permian drillers are desperate for water, and industry spending on water is set to jump from $11 billion last year to $18 billion by 2021.

Middle East oil suffers discount from IMO rules. Looming IMO rules on sulfur fuels could push Middle East oil to a heavy discount. Dubai crude could fall to a $8-per-barrel discount to Brent, deeper than the current $4 discount, according to Citi. High-sulfur fuels will fall out of favor when the shipping rules take effect at the start of 2020.

By Tom Kool for 

44 Comments on "The Silver Lining Of An Oil Price Crash"

  1. makati1 on Mon, 27th May 2019 2:02 am 

    So much bullshit, lies and guesses for $$$. But then, where is it coming from?

    “…the Second World War, an orchestrated event designed to make the US an indispensable and exceptional nation able to plow over countries where oil, minerals, and other precious natural resources are coveted by a bankster and corporate elite.

    So long as the ruling elite, its media and academics, are able to tell lies without pushback—or rather a small amount of resistance, which is ignored and dismissed as extremism—it will be able to hoodwink the public and motivate them with more lies and patriotic gobbledegook to support organized mass murder ahead of grand larceny.

    The rest of the world knows the United States is a rabid, irrational, and violent predator. The American people, however, remain clueless and shamefully disinterested in the fact the country is run by psychopaths and serial murderers.

    It would seem most Americans really don’t care if the US military has invaded and occupied countries, killing millions. It is now considered a dangerous psychopathic serial killer by the rest of the world.

    So well trained—like Pavlov’s dogs—are most Americans, they believe obvious lies about Venezuela, Iran, Hezbollah, Syria, Libya, etc. So out of touch with reality—and plugged into an alternate reality designed by the state and corporations—are the American people, they now instinctively buy into the humanitarian interventionist agenda of Democrats, Republicans, and a MAGA president who is almost entirely clueless, an idiot savant only able to tweet and repeat adjectives.”

    “The simple fact is that America is uncompetitive. This is at a deep and structural level. It’s at an education level. And this is something Trump’s trade team and his adherents refuse to admit.

    When it comes to manufacturing and assembly, U.S. workers are not worth the money they are paid. Period.”

    “The number one reason why we like to be in China is the people. China has extraordinary skills. And the part that’s the most unknown is there’s almost 2 million application developers in China that write apps for the iOS App Store. These are some of the most innovative mobile apps in the world, and the entrepreneurs that run them are some of the most inspiring and entrepreneurial in the world. Those are sold not only here but exported around the world.”

    Maybe Americans should take a good look at the world, outside the 50, that hates them and wants their demise? Slip sidin’…and the slope is turning into Teflon.

  2. Cloggie on Mon, 27th May 2019 3:25 am 

    “the Second World War, an orchestrated event designed to make the US an indispensable and exceptional nation able to plow over countries where oil, minerals, and other precious natural resources are coveted by a bankster and corporate elite.”

    Wow! Canadian lefties jumping over their own shadow and implicitly abandoning the natzi pavlov mode!


    Regarding the article…..

    Hahaha…. peak fossil supply…. priceless! Stop it already, I can’t breath for laughter!

  3. Robert Inget on Mon, 27th May 2019 8:54 am 

    Affordable oil?
    Not so fast.

    Giovanni Staunovo Retweeted

    Refinitiv Energy

    Verified account
    3h3 hours ago

    Middle East #Crude exports for week ending May 26th drop by 5.9 million bbl w-o-w to 107.8 million bbl, the lowest since atleast Aug 2016. Barring #Saudi arabia and #kuwait all other Gulf countries recorded a drop. #crudeoil #RefinitivOilResearch

    This data is almost meaningless to traders.
    While it takes tankers six weeks to make a crossing (at half speed), Rent on the Condo, preschool, parking or Uber, child care and/or child support, drugs dealer, taxes, credit cards,
    all come due in three days.

  4. Robert Inget on Mon, 27th May 2019 9:31 am 

    (parts of this post lifted from reliable sources)

    Not All Oil is the Same.

    Gulf Citgo refineries tuned to process Venezuelan heavy high sulfur oil. Trade embargo (and production problems) means not available to U.S. refiners.
    Nearest equivalent is a Ural mountain oil (Russia). Russia production is down due to pipeline contamination fiasco(Too much chlorides in oil make it not refinable.
    Need to dilute down with uncontaminated oil but refiners do not have the storage to take from pipeline and hold until can mix with clean oil)

    As a result heavy high sulfur oil market is quite tight. European oil market very tight. Shale oil is quite light and not an acceptable substitute for these refineries.

    Another Putin Headache

    Astute readers will recall, that Russian pipeline,
    to this hour is Not Delivering almost one million barrels per day to Eastern Europe refineries.
    (30 M B) and counting.

    Doubtless, various crude shipments to North America have been redirected to Eastern Europe.
    Hence, reduced NA imports.
    Hence, tighter markets eventually, higher prices.

  5. Robert Inget on Mon, 27th May 2019 9:46 am 

    Contamination Up-Date

    Pipelines, already thinned from age, some date back 50 years, any acid bath is problematic.

    Speaking of Russian pipes;

  6. Duncan Idaho on Mon, 27th May 2019 9:47 am 

    Hence, tighter markets eventually, higher prices.

    Problem is, we are being ruled by a 6 times bankrupt scammer from Queens. That is a bit over his head. He can deal with numbers, but can’t read more than a sentence or two without throwing the oatmeal against the wall (or the Big Mac.)
    Reality will eventually overcome the sick behavior.

  7. Robert Inget on Mon, 27th May 2019 9:56 am 

    The ‘problem of surplus humans’ seems to be solving itself.

  8. Duncan Idaho on Mon, 27th May 2019 10:03 am 

    “Oh, I think we’re heading towards 3°C at least,” he said.

    “Ah, yes, but heading towards,” I countered: “We won’t get to 3°C, will we?” (Because whatever you think of the 2°C threshold that separates “safe” from “dangerous” climate change, 3°C is well beyond what much of the world could bear.)

    “Not so,” he replied.

    Quite the interesting link—
    (However “interesting’ may not be the correct usage)

  9. makati1 on Mon, 27th May 2019 5:36 pm 

    Robert, I tagged that article for a long read later. Thanks!

  10. onlooker on Mon, 27th May 2019 5:55 pm 

    We certainly have Robert and a huge dieoff of our population now seems a certainty

  11. makati1 on Mon, 27th May 2019 6:25 pm 

    onlooker, at 3C+, there will be total die-off, not just a percentage. 100%. Not to mention that incurable diseases and social chaos will precede it and hurry it on.

    The last humans will likely live a stone age existence until that too is over. 2100? Sooner? We shall see. Not me and not those who post here, but our grandchildren certainly will experience a 3C world.

  12. onlooker on Mon, 27th May 2019 6:27 pm 

    Yeah, Makati, I think you are right. Runaway GW = Mass Extinction Event.!It has happened before

  13. JuanP on Mon, 27th May 2019 6:40 pm 

    “Pig Ebola” Epidemic Threatens To Unleash Stagflation Across China
    But none of this compares to what is about to hit China, where consumers are bracing for a shock as pork prices may surge more than 70% in the second half of this year an agriculture ministry official said last month, as the country’s pork output has plunged as much as 30% this year, according to Rabobank, and could spike Chinese CPI in the coming months, sharply limiting the PBOC’s efforts to stimulate and boost liquidity in the world’s (credit-driven) growth dynamo and curbing China’s latest attempt to reflate the world and boost global economic growth.
    In fact, as shown below, the price of virtually every food product in China is rising at double digits in China. China food prices YoY % Pork +30% Beef +10 Eggs+14 Chicken +14 Live Carp +7 Live Squid -11 Octopus +5 Green Onions+36 Lettuce +13 Fuji Apples +61 Banana + 8 Kyoho Grapes +8 Watermelon +30
    Putting all this together, and one can see why Trump felt empowered to resume the trade war at the start of May: after all, between the collapse in trade and soaring food, and especially pork prices, China is suddenly facing a stark risk of stagflation which, as Bloomberg’s Benjamin Dow notes, could be yet another force to weaken the yuan beyond 7 per USD (and may explain the PBOC’s panic at preventing FX shorts from piling on). As Dow notes, “higher pork prices combining with a trade slowdown would bring stagflation pressures to bear on CNY.” He concludes that the ongoing price surge “may also obliquely weaponize the currency anyway, despite any deliberate attempts by Chinese authorities to avoid such a scenario.” Such a stagflationary scenario could have dire consequences for Chinese monetary policy and the global economy, as the projected 60% spike in pork prices would sharply limit the PBOC’s efforts to stimulate and boost liquidity in the world’s (credit-driven) growth dynamo and further curb China’s latest attempt to reflate the world and boost global economic growth (especially now that Beijing has to tread very carefully following the first failure of a Chinese commercial bank in three decades, sparking the risk of a bank run).

  14. More Sinophobic Davy Identity Theft on Mon, 27th May 2019 8:38 pm 

    JuanP on Mon, 27th May 2019 6:40 pm

  15. Yoda on Mon, 27th May 2019 8:42 pm 

    Fear leads to anger. Anger leads to hate. Hate leads to suffering.

    I sense much fear in you Davy.

  16. Yoda on Tue, 28th May 2019 3:36 am 

    Sigh, I have an obsessive compulsive stalking disorder and I am a stupid Miami playboy illegal alien.

  17. JuanP on Tue, 28th May 2019 4:10 am 

    Trump To Win In 2020 According To ‘Remarkably’ Good Models
    President Trump is already predicted to win the 2020 election by three different economists, according to former Obama administration official, Wall Street executive and Brookings Institution board member Steve Rattner. In an op-ed for the New York Times titled “Trump’s Formidable 2020 Tailwind,” Rattner notes how three prominent economists have predicted another term for the man who snatched victory from the jaws of Hillary Clinton in 2016. How big is Trump’s tailwind? Yuge, according to the three economists. One of the first — and perhaps still the best — of these models was created by Ray Fair, a professor at Yale. He found that the growth rates of gross domestic product and inflation have been the two most important economic predictors — but he also found that incumbency was also an important determinant of presidential election outcomes. How well has Professor Fair’s model worked? In short, while not perfect, the Fair model has done remarkably well. In 2008, it predicted that Barack Obama would receive 53.1 percent of the popular vote; his share actually totaled 53.7 percent. In 2012, when Mr. Obama was running for re-election, its final estimate was a vote share of 51.8 percent, just two-tenths of one percent less than what the incumbent president received. (For Mr. Obama in 2012, the power of incumbency helped offset a still-recovering economy.) -New York Times How did Ray Fair’s model do with Trump? “According to the model, Donald Trump should have received 54.1 percent of the vote; in actuality he received 48.8 percent,” according to Rattner. A good part of Mr. Trump’s edge in 2016 was the incumbency factor — after eight years of a Democratic president, voters would ordinarily have wanted a Republican. (Since 1952, only one man has become president following eight years of a president of the same party.) In 2020, incumbency will be a tailwind for Mr. Trump as the vast majority of presidents are chosen for a second term. -New York Times

  18. I AM THE MOB on Tue, 28th May 2019 4:46 am 


    The only reason Trump won was because the left didn’t take him seriously..So they didn’t show up to vote..Trump got less votes than Mitt Romney did..So he didn’t even grow the base..Hillary just bombed because so many thought it was a lock and didn’t bother voting..That won’t happen in 2020..

    And its just a matter of time before Texas turns blue..Than every election will be a certainty for the dems.

  19. JuanP on Tue, 28th May 2019 4:57 am 

    MOB, I think I could use my antisocial, psychopathic, sociopathic skills to convince people to vote for Trump. I can be very convincing when I want and I am excellent at manipulating people so fuck off pussy.

  20. JuanP on Tue, 28th May 2019 6:15 am 

    Report: Iran-Russia Relations in Syria Deteriorating
    “Iran’s activity near Banias may have a destabilizing effect not only for the region, but also for the [Russian] forces, which are trying to stabilize this region,” the diplomatic source said, referring to a naval base being built by Iran at Syria’s Banias port. The source added: “It’s important to have a closer look at what is going on around the port because in the future it may become Iran’s military base near the Mediterranean Sea.” “The territorial proximity of Iranian facilities, regardless of their purpose, may not only technically complicate life for Russian servicemen, but also put them under surveillance,” the paper suggested on Monday, explaining that Iran has been able to maintain its influence in Damascus because it has granted Syria loans estimated at between $6 and $8 billion over the past eight years. Russian and Iranian businessmen also have conflicted interests in reconstruction projects in Syria, Hof pointed out. Kan News also reported arrests of Syrian activists considered to be pro-Iranian, carried out by the Syrian defense establishment under Russian control as well as by Russian military police. Russia wants to maintain stability in Syria after the relative quiet in the fighting, and to lure-in investments in projects to rehabilitate the country. Iran is pulling in the opposite direction, and sees Syria as a potential base to promote its terrorist expansion in the region. Israel has been collaborating with the Russian policy in Syria and has kept to a minimum its attacks on Iranian targets, Kan News said, implying a connection between Russia’s change in its approach to Iran and the tightening of US sanctions against Tehran.

  21. More Davy Identity Theft on Tue, 28th May 2019 6:33 am 

    Davy mental case on Tue, 28th May 2019 4:57 am

  22. Davy on Tue, 28th May 2019 7:35 am 

    Oops, sorry everyone. I forgot the link.

  23. Davy on Tue, 28th May 2019 7:42 am 

    Oops, sorry everyone. I forgot the link.

  24. JuanP on Tue, 28th May 2019 7:50 am 

    juanpee is a liar and an luantic. He makes shit up for some imaginary effect in his mind.

    Davy on Tue, 28th May 2019 7:35 am
    Oops, sorry everyone. I forgot the link.
    Davy on Tue, 28th May 2019 7:42 am
    Oops, sorry everyone. I forgot the link.

  25. JuanP on Tue, 28th May 2019 7:52 am 

    more juanpee mindless shit. Please mods IP ban the fuck nut.

    More Davy Identity Theft on Tue, 28th May 2019 6:33 am
    Davy mental case on Tue, 28th May 2019 4:57 am

  26. Davy on Tue, 28th May 2019 7:58 am 

    Oops, sorry for losing my shit again everyone.

  27. JuanP on Tue, 28th May 2019 8:11 am 

    oops, juanpee lost his hsit again. he must be really pissed off. MODS please IP ban the worthless Miami Beach playboy fuck.

    Davy on Tue, 28th May 2019 7:58 am
    Oops, sorry for losing my shit again everyone.

  28. JuanP on Tue, 28th May 2019 8:14 am 

    Here are some of my better moments on PO dot come:

    JuanP on Thu, 30th Jun 2016 4:56 pm
    I think I could use my antisocial, psychopathic, sociopathic skills to convince people to vote for Trump. I can be very convincing when I want and I am excellent at manipulating people.
    JuanP on Sun, 30th Aug 2015 5:40 am
    …then you simply have a higher opinion of humans than I do. But what can I do? I am after all an admitted antisocial misanthrope. I just think most people suck!
    JuanP on Fri, 12th Aug 2016 10:58 am
    I stopped caring about humanity’s future a long time ago once I realized it was a waste of my time and energy. Now I think that it would be best for life on Earth if we ceased to exist as a species.
    JuanP on Wed, 14th Sep 2016 9:59 pm
    I struggle with the fact that I belong to the same species; I find myself emotionally and intellectually incapable of accepting the fact. That is why I consider myself a sui generis individual rather than a human animal.
    JuanP on Sun, 26th Jun 2016 12:22 am
    As far as I am concerned human beings are a bunch of arrogant and retarded ignorant fools and they deserve what’s coming. Call me selfish if you want, I don’t give a fuck!
    JuanP on Fri, 15th May 2015 11:21 am
    I did therapy for over a decade and most of it was a waste, but I had one therapist for a year who understood my issues and that helped, though I am still thoroughly screwed up.
    JuanP on Tue, 22nd Dec 2015 6:57 am
    They make me smile and happy and give me a brief respite from my cronic and acute depression.
    JuanP on Sun, 17th Aug 2014 8:19 pm
    I have suffered from cronic and acute clinical depression for most of my life, but I wouldn’t have it any other way.
    JuanP on Mon, 23rd May 2016 8:53 am
    I was just telling my wife yesterday that I would very willingly give my arms, legs, tongue, eyes, ears, nuts, and dick to experience life like normal people do for just one hour to know what it feels like. I have been a seriously depressed realist since I have a memory. My first memory of my life is of leaning against a tree alone in my kindergarten’s playground looking at all the other kids playing, thinking how stupid their behavior was, and wondering why I wasn’t like them. I basically don’t interact with normal people anymore. They have nothing to offer me and I don’t want to give them anything.

    JuanP on Wed, 16th Jan 2019 7:34 am
    I am back, bitches! I just got back from a surfing vacation in Costa Rica. I am recharged and refreshed, and ready to continue fucking with the Exceptionalist for the foreseeable future. Miss me much, Davy?

  29. Robert Inget on Tue, 28th May 2019 9:07 am 

    Permafrost in some areas of the Canadian Arctic is melting so fast that it’s gulping up the equipment left there to study it.

    “The ground thaws and swallows it,” said Merritt Turetsky, a University of Guelph biologist whose new research warns the rapid melt could dramatically increase the amount of greenhouse gases released from ancient plants and animals frozen within the tundra.

    “We’ve put cameras in the ground, we’ve put temperature equipment in the ground, and it gets flooded. It often happens so fast we can’t get out there and rescue it.

    “We’ve lost dozens of field sites. We were collecting data on a forest and all of a sudden it’s a lake.”

    Turetsky’s research, published this week in the journal Nature, looks at the rate of permafrost melt across the Arctic and what its impact could be on attempts to limit greenhouse gas emissions that cause climate change.

    Let’s call permafrost melt; ‘The Venus Effect’

  30. Robert Inget on Tue, 28th May 2019 9:17 am 

    “Despite the rapid melt, it’ll be decades before the extra carbon release starts to influence global climate. “We’ve got a bit of time.”

    The abrupt collapsing of permafrost, however, will affect northerners long before that.

    “The landscape is going to be affected more and more every year by permafrost degradation,”

    Pipelines, first to go.

    Will this be THE summer?

  31. More Davy Identity Theft on Tue, 28th May 2019 10:13 am 

    JuanP on Tue, 28th May 2019 8:11 am

    JuanP on Tue, 28th May 2019 8:14 am

  32. JuanP on Tue, 28th May 2019 10:57 am 

    juanpee lies

    More Davy Identity Theft on Tue, 28th May 2019 10:13 am
    JuanP on Tue, 28th May 2019 8:11 am
    JuanP on Tue, 28th May 2019 8:14 am

  33. JuanP on Tue, 28th May 2019 11:01 am 

    Harvard Law Prof: Hard To Take Impeachment Calls Seriously Now
    Trump and the House Democrats have turned it into a political game. That’s not what the Constitution’s framers had in mind…Impeachment has jumped the shark. The episode that proves it is the one in which serious, informed politicians are wondering if President Donald Trump actually wants to be impeached for political advantage and is trying to goad Democrats into obliging him. It would be impossible to imagine a more preposterous scenario under the Constitution and in the history of the presidency. Impeachment was intended by the constitutional framers as a highly serious option reserved for only the most extraordinary, egregious violations of the rule of law. Today’s discussion treats impeachment as a trivialized gambit within the ordinary game of electoral politics. The undermining of the constitutional ideal is near-total. It’s almost laughable. To be clear, impeachment itself is and has long been a matter of high seriousness. Not so long ago, Richard Nixon resigned from the presidency to avoid the historic disgrace of being impeached. President Bill Clinton toughed it out, famously. But neither he nor anyone else doubted that his impeachment, however motivated by partisanship, became a permanent stain on his personal and presidential legacy. Whether you think that Clinton was guilty of high crimes and misdemeanors or not, it mattered enormously that he was just the second president in 200 years to be impeached. The House Republicans pushing his impeachment weren’t just saying that they wanted to make it harder for Clinton’s vice president, Al Gore, to win the next election. They were making the argument that Clinton was a genuine criminal who had subverted the justice system by lying under oath. Fast forward 20 years. When critics of the Trump presidency started discussing impeachment almost as soon as he took office, they meant to do much more than achieve some political advantage. Or at least I did. In my role as a constitutional law professor, I wrote several essays trying to make sense of the law, history and theory of impeachment. I went back and read books on the subject going back to the 1970s. I wasn’t alone. Two of my most distinguished colleagues at Harvard Law, Laurence Tribe and Cass Sunstein, each wrote full length books on the ins and outs of impeachment. Both had worked for President Barack Obama. Yet both went to great lengths to avoid saying that Trump deserved to be impeached on the basis of available evidence. Instead, they provided nuanced analysis of constitutional precedent and logic. The point of the exercise was to help guide the public in a rational, nonpartisan way through the thickets of possible constitutional crisis. Of course, no scholar or expert would deny that there is a political aspect to impeachment. Some politics is inherent in a constitutional structure that places impeachment responsibility in the House of Representatives and the trial to remove a president in the Senate. The framers may have been idealistic, but they weren’t naive. They knew that elected politicians would not be free of political motivation. Nevertheless, they also made successful impeachment and removal very difficult, precisely to discourage Congress from taking the whole process lightly. They chose words with grand implications — “high crimes” — to underscore that removing the president outside of elections must not be undertaken lightly. Yet somehow, all the talk in the last two and a half years has robbed impeachment of its original serious content and atmosphere. Maybe it’s just too many rapid-fire conversations on CNN, MSNBC and Fox News, with their constant drumbeat of partisan prediction and preoccupation. We have talked about impeachment in the partisan context so much that we can no longer imagine it as something more than an electoral ploy. The blame for this development goes to both parties. Since the 2018 midterm election, House Democrats have made it painfully clear that discussing impeachment is primarily or even exclusively a tool to weaken Trump’s chances in 2020. You almost never hear a Democrat say, “We have a moral duty to impeach even if it will cost us the election in 2020.” Rather, the idea of impeachment and the idea of electoral advantage have become inextricably entwined. On the Republican side, there has been much gleeful speculation that a Democratic effort to impeach Trump would bring out the Republican base in huge numbers. Trump himself is clearly toying with the possibility that this might be true — hence his recent efforts that seem to be daring the Democrats into action, or at least making them look like wimps if they don’t impeach him. That leaves us with the preposterous notion that the president could or would somehow bring about his own impeachment to help him get re-elected. Gone is the traditional notion that impeachment itself would be a blot on Trump’s reputation. Not that Trump has ever cared much about reputation in the ordinary sense, but he very clearly wants to be remembered as a great president. In his mind, however, being impeached apparently wouldn’t stand in the way of his lionization as a leader. Trump’s beliefs about politics and the Constitution are nothing if not a reflection of this instant in time. That he is treating impeachment as mere rhetoric shows that impeachment has lost its sting. That’s sad enough for now. It will be much, much sadder in the future, the next time we need impeachment to mean something.

  34. More Davy Identity Theft on Tue, 28th May 2019 11:25 am 

    JuanP on Tue, 28th May 2019 10:57 am

    JuanP on Tue, 28th May 2019 11:01 am

  35. Davy on Tue, 28th May 2019 11:27 am 

    Oops, sorry everyone. I forgot the link again.

  36. Robert Inget on Tue, 28th May 2019 11:42 am 

    What UnAmerican thing wrote yesterday can still
    make you money;

    Flooded fields cut 2019 grains harvests by as much as 20%.

    Find out more HERE:

  37. JuanP on Tue, 28th May 2019 12:22 pm 

    stupid liar

    More Davy Identity Theft on Tue, 28th May 2019 11:25 am
    JuanP on Tue, 28th May 2019 10:57 am
    JuanP on Tue, 28th May 2019 11:01 am

  38. JuanP on Tue, 28th May 2019 12:24 pm 

    This is a juanpee posting. He is a closet RupubliCON FUCK NUT

    Davy on Tue, 28th May 2019 11:27 am
    Oops, sorry everyone. I forgot the link again.

  39. More Davy Identity Theft on Tue, 28th May 2019 12:24 pm 

    JuanP on Tue, 28th May 2019 12:22 pm

  40. More Davy Identity Theft on Tue, 28th May 2019 12:26 pm 

    JuanP on Tue, 28th May 2019 12:24 pm

  41. Davy on Tue, 28th May 2019 12:27 pm 

    Sorry for losing my shit again everyone.

  42. JuanP on Tue, 28th May 2019 12:30 pm 

    oooPss this is more juanpee stupid behavior

    Davy on Tue, 28th May 2019 12:27 pm
    Sorry for losing my shit again everyone.

  43. JuanP on Tue, 28th May 2019 12:31 pm 

    juanpee is losing it. MENTALLY ILL

    More Davy Identity Theft on Tue, 28th May 2019 12:24 pm
    JuanP on Tue, 28th May 2019 12:22 pm
    More Davy Identity Theft on Tue, 28th May 2019 12:26 pm
    JuanP on Tue, 28th May 2019 12:24 pm

  44. Yoda on Tue, 28th May 2019 12:37 pm 

    Fear leads to anger. Anger leads to hate. Hate leads to suffering.

    I sense much fear in you Juan.

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