Impeaching Trump doesn’t tell the voters why Democrats are any better.
At long last, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi has firmly and gently put her foot down. She has been talking with all the right people to put a stop to the calls for impeachment and, as far as I can tell, she has slowed down the momentum for the impeachment of President Donald Trump.
I’m sure we could find impeachable offenses. But the problem is that impeaching Trump doesn’t really tell us how Democrats are going to be any better than Trump. I dislike Trump to be sure, and I’d love to actually see him impeached, but timing is everything. There is plenty of time to impeach him. For now, Democrats need to focus on their message.
Democrats need to tell us why we need to put one in the White House. They need to tell us why we need to put more of them in Congress. They really need to focus on getting more Democrats into the Senate and keeping the majority they have in the House. Impeachment is a huge distraction from that work. Impeachment efforts that lose seats will do us no good.
I’m on board with the Green New Deal. I’m on board with Medicare for All, single payer, universal health care or whatever name they will come up with. I’m on board with campaign finance reform. I’m really on board with a transaction tax on Wall Street to curb automated, high-frequency trading. And I would love to see Congress take back authority it so carelessly delegated to the President over the last 60 years. Really, the wars without end are a direct result of Congress delegating the power to abuse other nations, to the president.
Any effort to impeach Donald Trump would impede the efforts of members of Congress to get re-elected. Any effort to impeach Trump would seriously impede the work of more than 20 candidates to get nominated by the Democratic National Committee and one of them elected as president. Worse, we could turn Trump into a martyr, and God only knows how much Trump would love that in an election year.
In case anyone hasn’t noticed, Trump is the master of the negative campaign. If the goal of impeachment investigations and proceedings is to sully the record of a man that thrives on dirt, so sorry. Your impeachment efforts will not only fail because you don’t have the votes in the Senate, you will have delivered a million cords of dry wood Trump can use to fire up his base. In the eyes of Trump’s base, there is no way that you could sully his record any more than he already has.
So Democrats, focus on your message. Focus on your legislative agenda. Tell us how you’ve got a pile of legislation waiting for action in the Senate, and that Mitch “The Grim Reaper” McConnell will not even allow any of the bills passed by the Democrats in the House to see a vote on the floor of the Senate. Isn’t that what they call, “obstruction”? I’d call it legislative constipation.
And we know why McConnell is playing the role of “Grim Reaper”. He is just protecting his colleagues from having a record that says that they don’t mind pollution. That they don’t mind rising sea levels on our shores. That they don’t mind CEO pay so completely detached from productivity and reality, that they make great donors and boy, do they throw great fundraiser parties. That they don’t mind that more than half the country cannot handle a $1,000 emergency without going into debt. That they don’t mind that the median income in the United States is $31k (that’s $15 an hour — the median is half above, half below). And God forbid, we wouldn’t want to put the president in the position of having to veto any legislation. That might enrage liberals enough to show up and vote.
So I’d say now is the time to ponder impeachment, but not actually impeach the President. Articles of impeachment are a dead letter to the Senate. Wait and see if you can keep the House, flip the Senate, and see if through the magic of the Electoral College, Trump still manages to stay in the White House. When you have the votes in the Senate, especially after their efforts to kill the filibuster, you will not only be able to file articles of impeachment against the president, you’ll be able to let him pile up vetoes if Trump is still in office by then.
Play the long game. With time, demographics are on your side. Another four years of Trump will not kill this nation. It will only strengthen our resolve to root out the cause of how Trump ever managed to become president, and we could fix that. So I really don’t mind.
But if you insist on impeaching Trump, do so at your own peril, and please, please, please, include Mike Pence in your efforts. He is far worse than Trump, and he really knows what he’s doing. Trump is a bull in a China Shop. Pence is the proprietor.