Impeaching Trump

It’s only a guess, but I suspect Trump’s campaign is fighting impeachment on two fronts: overtly condemning it and covertly doing everything they can to get it started. Impeachment allows Trump to put the spotlight where he likes it (personal fights instead of policy) and to control the narrative. When the Senate absolves him (which we all know will happen), he gets to say, “See, it was all a witch hunt. Democrats have now spent the last few years ignoring issues that concern average Americans to focus (unsuccessfully) on personally destroying me. Now that the Senate has proven me right on all of this, why vote for useless Democrats?” And his case is much more persuasive in the wake of a failed impeachment. Indeed, though I’m not a Trump supporter, I do think he may have a point. Besides hard-core activists, most commoners are probably not that excited about Trump’s taxes or which Playboy bunny he slept with. If they voted for Democrats, they probably did so in the hopes that they’d focus more on issues that affect average Americans. Impeachment is the golden goose for Trump’s narrative.

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23 thoughts on “Impeaching Trump

  1. If it is a purely political calculation you are probably right unless more Republicans were to break ranks like the Michigan representative (unlikely having substituted their credibility for being sycophants in the last two years). From an ethical/legal standpoint I disagree with you. At this early juncture I think abortion rights may be the larger deciding factor. If the Supreme Court were to overturn Roe (I don’t think that happens because I don’t think Roberts wants his court to be an ideological one) Trump loses the 2020 election. If the Supreme Court does not overturn Roe that may motivate Trump supporters to vote for him again so he can hopefully appoint another justice.
    As far as democrats getting legislation passed there are over 100 bills from the house sitting in the senate and McConnell refuses to allow a vote on any of them.

    Liked by 2 people

    • I am trying to figure out a way to get a debate going, but I agree with you most of the way 🙂 Overturning Roe v Wade would be a gift to Dems that would probably cost Trump the election. And it looks like you agree on my assessment that impeachment likely (99% or more) ends in Senate acquittal and helps Trump’s narrative. I agree McConnell is letting and will let Dem bills from the House die. As far as the 100 bills, I don’t know what they are or how serious. I do know that I almost never hear anything on the news from Dems other than Trump’s tax returns, Trump’s sex life, Trump’s criminal this or that. Either you are wrong about the substantive focus of the Dems or you are right about the substantive focus and they have a very serious media problem — one that could cost them the election.

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  2. Yeah. I thought we could impeach quickly, cauterize the wound. He needs to be voted out of office, and even then will object using all means available. No one ever said it can’t happen here. Wait. We did say that.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I did agree with you until fairly recently— and I think Nancy Pelosi—who’s long been a personal hero—has brilliantly managed her caucus.

    Though I still worry about the scenario you depict, I’m now thinking that our democracy is so endangered by the blatant disregard of Congress’s right to investigate, that it’s almost imperative to at least start the process so that the American people can actually see and hear the findings of the Mueller Report. Justin Amash, brave Freedom Caucus Republican from Michigan who has read the report and called for impeachment, knowing he will lose his seat as a result, received several standing ovations at a town hall in his district tonight. That may be a harbinger.

    When there were calls for Nixon’s impeachment, 19% of the public agreed. Today, 38% of the public thinks trump should be impeached. I’m no longer so sure that the timid Senate Republicans will remain so if televised hearings (which trump fears) lead to an awakened public. Regardless, more and more legislators think they must uphold their Constitutional responsibilities.

    In case anyone needs evidence that the Democrats have been wasting time and not getting anything done for the people, this link
    shows the contrary: all the bills passed by the House that McConnell won’t bring to a vote in the Senate.

    https://www.vox.com/platform/amp/2019/5/24/18637163/trump-pelosi-democrats-bills-congress

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    • Hi Annie. I find some merit in your position and I’m glad you voiced it here. How to play the current hand is a gamble, but I still, tentatively, favor the approach in my blog. Despite the Nixon numbers, I think getting twenty Senate Repubs to join Dems and impeach is unrealistic, given Trump’s continued favorability in the party and today’s climate. So impeachment opens the door to spending a year of so digging more deeply into Trump’s personal record, then the Senate exonerates him. I still can’t picture a better way to help Trump’s media machinations than that (both during and after the process). Even in the extremely unlikely event of Senate conviction, then we get President Pence. Woo-hoo. Still, as I said, both your angle and mine need to be on the table as we work this out. Per the House bills, I haven’t looked to see if they are “show” bills or substantive, but all I hear about (even in, or especially in, the friendly left-wing media) is Trump’s taxes, Trump’s sex life, Trump’s criminal this or that. Even if those bills are substantive, the media problem may be enough to cost them the election.

      A tangent concern of mine is how the US has gone from a modern democracy, where each party tries to disprove the opposition, to a banana republic, where each party tries to criminalize the opposition and jail its individual leaders. The Repubs wanted to personally destroy and criminalize Bill Clinton, the Dems wanted to do it to Bush and Cheney, Repubs then thought Obama should be ousted as illegitimate, now half the country thinks Hillary and half thinks Trump should be jailed. Geo H. W. Bush was the last president where the opposition did not devote most of its energy to criminalizing the other side’s leaders. As the media works, it seems going forward that every president will have 45-49% of the country feeling a strong moral obligation to impeach. I’m not sure this is sustainable. We might have to go back to beating people at the ballot box at some point.

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      • I agree that the media’s obsession with trump to the detriment of covering what has been some really substantive legislation passed by the Dems in the House is a very troubling trend. I’m hoping if people watch candidates in town halls and debates, they’ll view things differently—assuming the candidates talk about what has been accomplished, as well as their goals.

        I think we’re now dangerously close to banana republic status—in part, that’s why I believe this president must be shown he can’t simply ignore Congress—but I don’t see parity between the Democrats’ wanting to investigate Cheney for war crimes and the Republicans wanting to impeach Clinton for shameful but personal behavior, refusing to acknowledge Obama’s right to appoint a Supreme Court Justice, and continuing to want to lock up Hillary for email infringements that Ivanka, Jared and others now routinely do—and worse.
        Compare a scandal-free—albeit imperfect—eight years of Obama that yielded some solid national and international progress with the last two, and I can’t agree with your blanket conclusion.

        Liked by 1 person

  4. Briefly, I think you’re very perceptive on both counts. If impeachment is instigated and then fails (which it will), then Trump is in a better position than ever. He must be voted out. But will he be?

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks for your vote of confidence, A.P. 🙂 As I said to Annie, which tack to take is a gamble, but you and I share a strategic preference. Will he be? I don’t know. From a pure gambler’s point of view, I’d say Trump is the favorite right now by a small margin; i.e., Trump is vulnerable, but I think it’s likelier that Dems will drive voters away than that they will bring people together.

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  5. Sadly, I’m in agreement with nearly everything you’ve said here. The comparisons to the Nixon era don’t work for me mainly because there are very few members of the GOP who are independent enough to speak their minds. They all seem to cower to Trump, Fox News, Limbaugh, etc. I hope Pelosi has a game plan here by which Democrats hold impeachment hearings but fall short of actually sending it to the Senate. Probably wishful thinking on my part, though. – Marty

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    • Thanks, Marty. Agreed. In today’s climate, we’d do best to focus on beating him at the ballot box, as Bernie has said. It’s hard to have both an issues-focused campaign year and an impeachment-focused year. Impeachment will suck all the oxygen. I think Pelosi thinks like us too, but she may or may not cave under the pressure. (Although impeachment hurts Democrats nationally in 2020, as Pelosi knows, it helps those vocal House Dems who gain star power with the red meat for their liberal districts, so I expect pressure to build.)

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  6. My 2 worthless cents are these. The fatal flaw in the way impeachment was set up is that if the President and the Senate are of the same party, and are willing to break or skirt the law, then the likelihood of impartial and fair justice being served becomes remote. This being the case now, impeaching Trump serves no purpose other than to declare a hollow moral victory than can easily be turned against the Dems. Therefore the logical position is for the House to continue their investigations in the background — and use past current and future obstruction as fodder on the campaign trail — while putting forward progressive legislation that benefits the country at large, not just the elites. If does not matter if none of it becomes law under the Trump/Mitch regime; the point is that they can say they tried. Once Trump is defeated, and I think Biden is the one who can most realistically do that, then the courts can deal with Trump with sufficient harshness to ensure that no right wing demagogue ever tries this again. Moreover, a Dem President and Dem majority Senate can pass legislation to ensure that a Trump II would never be elected down the road — tax returns release must be mandatory, etc. A Muller II report can be begun and concluded with dispatch, and if it is found that the Trump presidency was indeed illegitimate, then a Dem president/Congress would have justification to remove all its signal accomplishments: the 2 Supremes could be removed, ditto the stacked Federal courts, and everything else Trump and his cabal did while in office. Finally, I would not stop at Trump: if it could be successfully proven that people like Mitch knowingly aided and abetted a criminal presidency,, then Mitch and friends ought to also taste the joys of the American system of incarceration. As the saying goes, don’t do the crime, if you cant do the time.

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