Impeachment fever comes quickly for some House Dems
Newly adorned House Speaker Nancy Pelosi may find her greatest challenge is not working with Republicans but rather getting her fellow Democrats to unite around common sense initiatives that improve the country and the party’s election scenario two years from now.
The applause from her recoronation as Speaker had not died down last week when two congressmen, Reps. Brad Sherman of California and Al Green of Texas, introduced articles of impeachment against President Trump. And newly-elected Michigan Congresswoman Rashida Tlaib told supporters Democrats were going to impeach Trump in an expletive-laced pronouncement.
Their actions fly in the face of Pelosi’s attempts – both during the midterm campaign and in comments since – to keep impeachment in the background and focus on issues Democrats can win with.
Pelosi has been around long enough to know how chasing down rabbit holes ends up. Republicans in the 1990s became obsessed with impeaching President Bill Clinton. The House found enough lies and sordid actions in which to put together an impeachment vote that succeeded. The Senate did not think the guilt rose to an impeachable level and would not back the action. And Clinton – more popular than ever – easily won a second term in office.
At least Republicans had a special counsel report on which to base their articles of impeachment. Democrats don’t even have that. We are still awaiting Special Counsel Mueller’s report on Russian collusion in the 2016 presidential election and possible Trump campaign involvement. Charges to date have not related directly to it and, as leaky as the probe has been, there has been nothing come out so far indicating a direct link between the Trump campaign and Russians.
What opponents are left with is a white-hot dislike of Trump. There’s a long line of those people, due in large part to the president’s personality, and the line includes a few Republicans, too. But that’s not grounds for impeachment.
The hard facts are that 60 million people voted for Trump, many of them with the knowledge that they were not electing a Boy Scout. They elected him partly because they liked his policy ideas and Make America Great Again theme and partly because he promised to shake up the old-boy-network Washington. He has clearly done that.
We suspect they like policies that have at least help drive down unemployment. They like the tax reform that has benefitted most Americans. They like reduced regulation. They like some of the firm foreign policy stances and judicial appointment they have seen.
Impeaching Trump without any clear evidence of “high crimes and misdemeanors” would amount to disenfranchising those voters and others and divide the country in a grave way. What kind of country are we becoming when rabid dislike is the foundation for impeachment of a president?