The “Impeach Trump” movement is toxic and contrary to the Democratic Party’s long-term interests. Donald Trump is a symptom of a much bigger problem, an ugly, corrupt, unprincipled symptom, but a symptom nonetheless. Waving the “Impeach Now” banner creates a perception his removal alone is the panacea to all that ails the nation.
By selling impeachment to Resisters, the strategies and tactics that will actually ensure the long-term strength and solidarity of the party and country, will continue to be neglected leaving the nation divided. The impeachment mentality perpetuates a dynamic in which long-term progress is virtually impossible, repeatedly undone by changes of administrations, a phenomena already evident on a daily basis.
No President has been impeached in the House of Representatives, and then convicted in the U.S. Senate. Yes, impeachment alone dings a President’s approval ratings, but that’s about it. Empirically speaking, impeachment slash conviction is an ineffectual means of affecting meaningful change.
In 1868, Andrew Johnson was acquitted in his senatorial trial by one vote. Likewise, Clinton was acquitted, though by wider margins. Nixon flew the coop before his House vote, and inevitable trial.
The framers of the Constitution purposely made the Impeachment process onerous to prevent its abuse. After the House impeaches the President with simple majority, the Senate requires a two-thirds majority to convict, making bipartisan support a prerequisite.
In the (likely) event the Mueller Report includes well-documented high crimes and misdemeanors, Trump will have to decide between resignation or a Senate trial. Hello President Pence!
I know! I know! Anyone is better. Let’s see how long before the sense of relief is replaced by dread and nausea at the Pence administration. While I’m no fan of kleptocracies, I am equally, if not, more so, terrified by theocracies.
I’m not going to spew statistics. You know the issues. Racial equality. Evolution. Abortion. Climate change denial. Women’s rights. Sexual Preferences. Environmental Guns. Impeaching Trump won’t change people’s attitudes on these subjects. That’s why the Democratic Party should focus on infiltrating school boards, mayoral elections, city councils, county commissioner boards, state legislatures, so forth and so on.
While it will take generations to create an enlightened society that respects the broad spectrum of beliefs embraced by the citizenry, that’s where the Democratic party’s energies should be allocated. Impeaching Trump doesn’t begin to get us there.
As eager as I am to see Trump gone, until impeachment is a viable option, i.e., after the midterms, and after the Mueller Report is released, calling for impeachment hurts the Democratic party and provides the Right with a rallying cry. Enough already!