What a lovely sounding word: Impeachment. A recent politico article informs us that up to three quarters of the Democratic party are firmly behind the prospect of impeaching Donald Jared Trump. We have the steam, but will the locomotive take us into the station? I’m not sure what that means, but here are a few points to consider anyway.
- A Divided House
Even if Democrats re-take the house, not all lawmakers on the left are on board with impeaching Trump. The reason? It might not be the best move politically, since the best political moves seem to balance short-term politiking with long-term thinking. Impeaching Trump, our shiny POTUS, comes with a host of issues that could backfire.
- Big, Beautiful Mike Pence (don’t blame me for aesthetic language)
For one, ushering Mike Pence into the hot seat obviously doesn’t seem like the most intelligent move from a political standpoint. His moves are just as extreme as the current sitting President, and he might be arguably more efficient in consistently ramming through legislative priorities. Yeah, yeah, I know, the incredibly gorgeous tax cut just passed. Still.
- Bill Clinton
Bill Clinton’s impeachment proceedings are still a stain on the Democratic party. While this alone shouldn’t be a deterrent to impeaching Trump, it still must weigh heavy on the Democratic hive-mind on how to best handle the situation. Let’s say Trump is impeached due to sexual harassment charges, the obvious riposte at the disposal of Republican is Bill Clinton’s deplorable behavior in the oval office.
- The Friggin’ Constitution
The Constitution is another wall between Donald Trump and being tossed into the lonely moat of Presidents removed from office. “It’s dark and cold over here.” Yeah. We know.
House Member Jerrold Nadler had this to say:
“Impeachment, it’s not something you ought to welcome. It’s not something you ought to be ready to — it’s not something you want.”
“If we were in the majority and if we decide that the evidence isn’t there for impeachment — or even if the evidence is there we decide it would tear the country apart too much, there’s no buy-in, there’s no bipartisanship and we shouldn’t do it for whatever reason — if we decide that, then it’s our duty to educate the country why we decided it.”
The latter seems like a flimsy excuse, and evokes the atmosphere of emerging dictators. If we decide it would tear the country apart doesn’t seem like a firm constitutional argument. It would reinforce Trump’s sense of invincibility. While there are consequences to consider before removing the dotard from office, simply citing country division as a reason to avoid doing the unthinkable would definitely bolster Trump’s supporter’s perceived power. “We spoke, and even the Democrats listened.”
Definitely a muddy issue, but Democrats should make sure not to appear weak or appeasing on the issue. The thought of impeachment is definitely tempting, and should be pursued. Also, while setting a dangerous precedent by successfully removing a president from office is a reasonable consideration, another potentially even more dangerous precedent lurks in the halls of letting an aspiring dictator think he has won. I find the “country division” argument an extremely hollow one, and one that sends the signal that any form of presidential behavior will be tolerated. Should we also postpone or void the importance of the presidential election in 2020 simply because Trump’s supporters might void their bowels in protest? I think not.