Thoughts on Impeachment …

As most of you know, I have been vacillating on whether the time is right for the House to begin the process to ultimately impeach Donald Trump or not.  Still today, I have mixed feelings about it … I definitely think he ought to be impeached, but it’s not just that simple.  This morning I stumbled across a piece in The Opinionated by political analyst and author Bill Press, whose work I have always respected, and his words made a lot of sense to me.  The article helped clarify my own thoughts, both pro and con.

Bill-Press

Bill Press

With all due apologies, I know I’ve weighed in on the debate about impeaching Donald Trump in previous columns. The reason I take it up again is because so many Democrats still can’t decide how to proceed.

Democrats are split into two camps. Those who say it’s a mistake to start impeachment hearings because they’re bound to fail. Trump will still be in the White House because Senate Trumpers will never vote to convict him. And those who insist that — even if they’re sure to fail — Democrats must begin impeachment hearings anyway, because not doing so would in effect endorse Trump’s unacceptable presidential behavior. More than any other factor, how that issue is resolved, I believe, could determine what happens in 2020.

First, let’s be clear. Why should Donald Trump be impeached? As Elizabeth Barrett Browning famously wrote, “Let me count the ways.” He’s debased the office of the presidency. He’s told thousands of lies. He played footsie with a foreign adversary to win an election. He obstructed justice, many times. He intimidated witnesses. He ordered top aides to commit crimes. He defied congressional subpoenas.

There’s no doubt, as Republican Congressman Justin Amash concluded after reading the Mueller report, Trump has “engaged in impeachable conduct.” Whether he actually committed crimes does not matter, Amash points out, because impeachment “simply requires a finding that an official has engaged in careless, abusive, corrupt, or otherwise dishonorable conduct” — all spelled out in Mueller’s report.

Still, no matter how strong the case, Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s advised Democrats in Congress not to rush into impeachment. They’re better off, she told them, focusing instead on three priorities: their legislative agenda, especially health care; oversight hearings and beating Donald Trump in 2020. And, for a while, most Democrats agreed to hold back. Until this week, when Trump did everything he could to force impeachment hearings.

For many Democrats, what made the difference was Trump’s stopping former White House Counsel Don McGahn from testifying before the House Judiciary Committee. Democrats wanted to hear from McGahn because, in his report, after revealing that Trump twice ordered McGahn to fire him as special counsel and then lie to the New York Times about it, Mueller says it’s up to Congress to investigate further in order to determine whether Trump is guilty of criminal obstruction of justice. By blocking McGahn’s testimony, Trump’s also blocking Congress from doing its job.

On top of that came Baby Donnie’s White House temper tantrum. In a political stunt clearly orchestrated ahead of time, Trump stormed out of an infrastructure meeting with Speaker Pelosi and Senate Democratic Leader Chuck Schumer, supposedly upset because Pelosi had earlier accused him of engaging in a cover-up (which he has!), and went directly to the Rose Garden, where reporters were already assembled in front of a campaign-style podium with the sign “No Collusion. No Obstruction.” “I don’t do cover-ups,” Trump fumed. No, and Nixon wasn’t a crook, either.

With that, the anti-impeachment dam so carefully built by Nancy Pelosi began to crumble. A week ago, there were only a handful of Democrats wanting to start impeachment hearings right away. Today, there are 30 to 40, including at least one member of the House leadership, Rhode Island’s David Cicilline. It’s reached the point where House Budget Chairman John Yarmouth told me, impeachment hearings are now “inevitable.”

Still, Pelosi urges restraint, based on five arguments. One, doing impeachment would suck up all the oxygen and make it practically impossible to pass legislation on any issue. Two, impeachment has little public and zero, aside from Justin Amash, bipartisan support. Three, Democrats can achieve almost the same results by proceeding first with oversight hearings now underway in the judiciary, intelligence, financial services, ways and means and oversight committees. Four, as noted above, impeachment would hit a dead end in the Senate. Five, impeachment might actually help Donald Trump, by allowing him to run for re-election as a victim.

For now, I believe, Speaker Pelosi makes a strong case. Democrats are smart to hold off, while letting the case build against Trump for 2020. But that could still change, depending on how he responds to court rulings against him.

That’s the key. After refusing to comply with congressional subpoenas, if Trump also rejects court orders to comply, he’d be declaring war on not one, but two co-equal branches of government. At that point, Democrats would have no choice but to launch impeachment hearings. And it’s a safe bet that’s what’s going to happen.

Bill has also recently published a book, Trump Must Go: The 100 Top Reasons to Dump Trump (And One to Keep Him)Bill-Press-book

53 thoughts on “Thoughts on Impeachment …

  1. Many valid reasons to impeach, but ur right, timing is the key. One caveat, as Speaker Pelosi is leader of the house, she has the final say but if she makes backroom deals with Trump impeachment will never get off the ground. 😦

    Like

  2. The Trump whores — I mean hordes — are going to prostitute themselves no matter whether or not the Dems try to impeach. In my opinion, if Robert Mueller refuses to testify IN PUBLIC so that the whole world can plainly see Trump’s machinations laid bare, the Dems should begin impeachment proceeding immediately, and let the chips fall where they may. The Trump fiasco cannot continue to run roughshod without repercussions.

    Liked by 1 person

    • True, but the key is not to let the number of those Trump hordes grow. A failed impeachment would see him playing the ‘victim card’, and some who are on the fence at the moment might just topple over onto his side. Sigh. Nothing is clear-cut or easy just now.

      Like

      • I think you’re right that nothing is clear-cut IF Mueller testifies only in private. The only way his testimony will be compelling enough to change public opinion from a minority to a majority in favor of impeachment (and thus hopefully put pressure on enough GOP Senators to change THEIR minds) is if Mueller testifies IN PUBLIC on live TV. If Mueller doesn’t ‘open peoples’ eyes,’ nothing changes and proceeding with impeachment is a big risk.

        Liked by 1 person

        • I fully agree. Sadly, after his brief press conference this morning, it doesn’t sound as if he will be making another, and it didn’t even sound as if he is willing to testify before Congress. Sigh.

          Like

          • I understand your reaction, Jill, but all is not lost. Mueller indicated that (if he testifies) he won’t say anything over and above what’s in his report, however he didn’t say he won’t testify. The Dems must insist on his testimony (if necessary, by subpoena), take it from there, and let the chips fall where they may. Otherwise, they will have surrendered to Trump’s bullying, and all but concede unfettered power to him.

            Liked by 1 person

            • I agree … I think his testimony is imperative to the investigation, and perhaps a tidbit might be gleaned from direct questioning that either isn’t in his report, or has been overlooked. It is past time to show Mr. Trump that he can be held accountable for his actions, that he is not the supreme ruler he seems to think he is.

              Like

  3. Bill Press has eloquently expressed my own thoughts. We MUST be patient!

    I know he’s an a-hole and continues to denigrate the office of POTUS, but IF the impeachment action goes down the tubes because of the Repukes, think of what we would have on our hands then. Not to mention his supporters would go wild. Besides, there are other things in the wind that are slowly but surely coming into play which could make impeachment the only option.

    Liked by 2 people

    • As hard as it is, yes, I think we must be patient and for the reasons you mention. A failed impeachment would play right into his hand, and he would play that ‘victim’ card to the hilt, likely gaining sympathetic followers, while democrats would be left disillusioned and apathetic. Not a scenario we can afford. Sigh.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Too close, far too close to 2020. Any impeachment moves will bring out the Trump hordes screaming and raging and every single one of them will vote for him and his mouthpieces will try every dirty trick to ensure this will be so. The whole process will be dragged out and into the election- tailor made for a rabble-rouser.
    Keep your powder dry for 2020.
    The only hope the USA has in 2020. Vote against him. Never mind if the opponent does not measure up to your standards, who could be worse than Trump?
    Vote.

    Liked by 2 people

  5. I continue to scream for impeachment. All the arguments against pursuing it strike me as intelligent rationalizations. Pelosi believes it will suck all the oxygen out and nothing will get done. I think that’s true. But little constructive is getting done, and as the monster grows in the WH, the situation will worsen. He’s already swallowing the GOP and Executive branch. Now, with the monster ignoring Constitutional checks and balances, he’s just going to push it until it’s a full-blown disaster. Then how much oxygen will the situation suck out of the room?

    I don’t believe the oversight committees approach will work. He’ll stonewall, ride twitter, and ignore subpoenas, and the Democrats will cry foul, and make threats, and the situation will grow worse.

    Hard action must be taken.

    Sorry to be so pessimistic. Cheers

    Liked by 2 people

    • The only argument against impeachment that I think needs to be considered is that a failed impeachment would likely be a favour to Trump next year, as he plays the ‘victim’ card. It is a point worth considering, though I, too, support impeachment. Heck, I support assassination these days! Whatever it takes. But, we don’t want to shoot ourselves in the foot.

      The oversight committee approach at this point depends solely on the courts. Thus far, they have supported Congress’ right to oversee, but who knows where the appellate courts will come down. It could literally dray out until next fall when … oh my … an election! Sigh.

      No worries, my friend … I think we’re all feeling pessimistic these days. Cheers … and hugs!!!

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Jill, as an Independent and former Republican (and Democrat as a young adult), I want Donald Trump’s resignation. I have written often that the GOP needs to impeach him as he is a clear and present danger to our democracy, our planet and their party.

    When I think he cannot go any lower, he releases and comments on a doctored tape to discredit Nancy Pelosi. He (and Fox News) deserve every bit of push back on this. IT IS WRONG to doctor a tape to discredit someone. If your ideas cannot win without such measures, then rethink your ideas.

    Further, many Americans do not realize Japan may be out strongest ally. So, the man in the White House goes to Japan with his foot still on the auto-tariff pedal. But, the worst behavior was to insult his host by naysaying the gravity of North Korea’s recent missile tests. Abe repeated his comcerns over North Korea.

    Then, he sides with a malevolent dictator in Kim who said bad things about Biden. Then, on foreign soil, he trashed Obama/ Biden’s eight years as a disaster. Note, he was handed the keys on an economy with almost eight years of growth, a more than doubled stock market and seven years of job growth, whicb it should be noted he pats himself on the back for now.

    I call on Americans who give a damn about our imperfect country to call on Trump’s resignation before he further damages what we have built over time. If he fails to do so, all of Congress needs to step and impeach him. The GOP leaders know all of this, but they should be told we know you know. So, what are you going to do about it? Keith

    Liked by 2 people

    • Jill, reading the responses, I want to reiterate the idea we demand his resignation. We should use the term I feel is apt, Trump is a “clear and present danger” to our democracy, our planet and the GOP. On a daily basis, this man brings shame to the office he holds. Keith

      Liked by 1 person

      • There is no doubt in my mind, or the minds of any who haven’t drank the Kool-Aid, that he is a clear and present danger. His resignation, however, is about as likely as me sprouting wings and a halo. Sigh.

        Like

    • My friend … I want his resignation as much as you, but we both know that his ego will never allow him to accept defeat. I suspect that if he were impeached or voted out, they would have to have Capital Police take him out, for I think he believes he will stay in the White House until he dies, and nobody is going to tell him differently.

      ‘Tis true that both his sharing of the doctored Pelosi video, his agreeing with Kim’s shameful remarks about Biden, and his denial that North Korea’s missile tests are a threat while a guest of Shinzo Abe are all horrendous, embarrassing behaviour, but … what’s new? When has he ever acted like a mature adult, let alone a world leader?

      Bottom line? He isn’t going to resign, no matter how many people call for it, no matter how many times. If we want to rid ourselves of this abominable excuse for a president, we will need to impeach. But to do so, we must find a way to open the eyes of the republicans in Congress, including Mitch McConnell. The only way I know to do that, is to open the eyes of the voters in their districts/states, such that they make it clear that they will be voted out of office if they continue to support the madman in the Oval Office. Sigh.

      Like

  7. Yep, I’m with you Jill. I keep going back and forth on the issue. I think it inevitably will get to impeachment. We have to be patient….I guess. Wouldn’t it be nice if the dam started to really break as far as his support from Republicans goes? I know…..wishful thinking!!

    Liked by 2 people

  8. I want him gone. an impeachment in the house with a refusal to vote in the senate (which is so obvious at this point) will just give the orange asshole so much more to crow about.

    Liked by 2 people

  9. What are Americans waiting for? Justice? We all know justice only applies to the downtrodden. The rich avoid justice because they are rich. What more do you need to know.
    A well-run impeachment process will put a target on every republicans back. Force his people to declare they are nothing but yes-men, with no balls of their own, and show voters what they are really voting for. No, you will not win them all over, but you will win some, and that is better than none. His “true believers” already believe him you are on a witch hunt, so give them their witch hunt. Entertain them. Put it all on live television, drag it out a bit, and show them a true picture. They want to see their leader in action, give them what they want.

    Liked by 2 people

    • No, we’re waiting for Aladdin to pop out of his magic lamp and grant us three wishes, the first of which would be the assassination of Donald Trump. Sigh. I don’t know, Jerry … I just don’t know. I’m tired, as are most of us who actually have a conscience in this country … I’m tired of feeling the hate, of seeing the destruction of everything I thought, obviously erroneously, this nation was about. I shall come back soon as a wolf and attack Trump by the throat, doing the entire world a favour. 🐺

      Like

      • Aladdin wouldn’t be able to get close enough to assassinate him, all those thoughts and prayers from his Evangelicals would protect him from mere magic.
        And by the time you become a wolf, unless he is King Shit by then, he will be back to being king of poo pond. Don’t sacrifice yourself for the likes of him, he isn’t worth it.

        Liked by 1 person

        • Hah! All those thoughts and prayers from the evangelicals go up in smoke, for that’s all they ever were to begin with. They cannot protect him in a world where money has no value and prayers are seen for what they are. The ‘poo pond’ … I like that! I have little value to any but a small handful … more and more I think I don’t belong here. Sigh. 🐺

          Like

          • I was about 18 the first time I was told I don’t belong here (ahead of my time), and it was but a few months later a girl told me I was too old to ever be young. My life has proved the latter, I think, but I cannot believe the former. No, I don’t fit in this world, but that doesn’t mean people like us don’t belong here, Jill. I’m not saying we have a purpose, but we can have a use. You do a great job on your blogsite, and I do whatever it is I do. We aren’t wasting our lives waiting to go to a heaven or a hell, we are trying to make the world a better place to be. Don’t give up yet.
            We are not alone…

            Liked by 1 person

            • “Too old to ever be young” … almost poetic, and somehow maybe it suits you, though I’ve only known you since you were a couple of years younger than you are now. But you know what … you and I both are younger at heart than the mirror or our driver’s license tells us. I’m always a bit surprised when I see me in the mirror and wonder who that ol’ hag is and who let her in. Yes, I know … we do both have a purpose and we try to do good. It just seems sometimes that we’re chasing our tails, spinning in circles, that our efforts make but a drop in the bucket, and there’s a hole in the bottom of the bucket anyway. But, I shall rebound and try to not give up just yet. Tomorrow’s another day!

              Like

  10. Reblogged this on It Is What It Is and commented:
    Bill Press, respected political analyst and author!! … Impeachment? … ‘That’s the key. After refusing to comply with congressional subpoenas, if Drumpf also rejects court orders to comply, he’d be declaring war on not one, but two co-equal branches of government. At that point, Democrats would have no choice but to launch impeachment hearings. And it’s a safe bet that’s what’s going to happen.’

    Liked by 2 people

I would like to hear your opinion, so please comment if you feel so inclined.

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s