House Democrats are a bunch of angry, hypocritical cowards. Impeachment failed during Bill Clinton’s presidency, but at least Republicans made good on their threats after the release of Ken Starr’s damning findings. They didn’t get what they wanted, but they made the effort.
Democrats? Lots of words. Lots of threats. Lots of nothing.
Now we’re hearing about censure. Censure is for cowards. After all the time and angst and harsh language Democrats need to impeach immediately even if that means going down in flames. Otherwise they have absolutely no credibility and going after Trump will prove to be another tiresome, attention-getting political stunt.
Besides, they’ve already gone the censure route.
Censure is a cheap, useless trick
The January 2018 announcement that Democrats would censure the president for alleged racist comments certainly sounded triumphant:
Today, nearly 150 House Democrats introduced a resolution to censure President Trump for the racist “s*ithole” comments he made about Haiti and African countries during a bipartisan January 11, 2018, meeting on American immigration policy.1
The president didn’t try to cover up what he said so H.Res. 700 came down to offensive language and a worthless effort that died in committee the day it was introduced. Racism raises eyebrows, though, so at least the resolution was good for a few attention-getting press releases.
This wasn’t the first time Democrats tried the censure strategy. Trump hater Jerrold Nadler introduced a censure resolution in August 2017. H.Res. 496 sought to censure and condemn the president over the Charlottesville incident. It didn’t censure anything. Like the 2018 effort it fell flat on its face.
Democrats gave us the same censure circus with Iowa Rep. Steve King.
He’s still in office.
So is Trump. He’s a political irritant that obsessive Democrats can’t and won’t let go of. Their problem is they talk so much their base expects them to do something.
Khanna: investigate and hold accountable for what?
Wasting words and time didn’t stop Rho Khanna (D-CA) from pushing for Trump’s censure after Special Counsel Mueller announced he was closing shop:
We need Congress, through our committee work, to continue to aggressively investigate the president and hold him accountable. I believe we should immediately take decisive action to censure him and keep all our options on the table.2
When you hear “decisive” from a politician you know they are on shaky ground. Actions speak for themselves.
Democrats are politically sensitive about getting elected
When you are doing something you know is wrong getting others to agree with you offers the illusion of correctness.
Colorado Rep. Ed Perlmutter hasn’t given up after he backed the January 2018 censure resolution, but we’re not hearing much in the way of aggressive action, either. He claims that Democrats in his state support impeachment “or at least suggest it’s an option.”3
It’s a politically sensitive topic. Democrats in Congress are split over how to proceed and there are potential implications for the party in the 2020 election cycle.4
That’s a surprisingly frank admission. It’s also a cop-out from a party that claims to be on the path to political righteousness. At least we’re getting closer to the truth.
Fellow Colorado Congressman Joe Neguse spoke of “multiple instances of impeachable conduct by the President.”5 Unlike Perlmutter’s admission that the politics of an election cycle are a reason to reconsider, Neguse takes politicking out of the discussion:
The [sic] is not about politics. It is about protecting the rule of law in our country.6
It’s nice to know that Democrats are willing to apply the rule of law to something. Unfortunately for us the White House seems to be the only target they deem worthy.
2020: the circus is what counts
Citing “potential crimes,” Virginia Democratic Rep. Don Beyer is one of the voices calling for an impeachment inquiry.7
What does this leave us with?
Lots of nothing, except for that election everyone is worried about. If I was a spineless, Trump-hating Democrat I would produce a crippling dog and pony show for the American people that goes right through the night of November 3, 2020.
That show could be impeachment, but impeaching a president takes more than words. It takes guts.
Four reasons Democrats must impeach immediately
How do you back off from impeachment when it’s all you’ve talked about and you finally have to shut up or play ball?
You can’t, so here are four great reasons Democrats can use to impeach Trump now.
1. The American people come first.
This is not about Democrats or the “2020 election cycle.” It’s about us. To be fair, they haven’t come out and said that we deserve impeachment. Why not? This is about protecting our democracy from a power-made, democracy-destroying lunatic. Impeachment is the least we deserve.
Like Rep. Neguse affirmed, this is also about the rule of law. Democrats owe it to the people to show us just how this works. When they are done with Trump they can apply this iconic American value somewhere else, like the Southern border.
2. There is no question Trump is guilty of impeachable offenses.
How many times do we have to hear about obstruction and high crimes?
If the evidence the Special Counsel discovered is accurate, I believe it surpasses the Constitutional threshold of high crimes and misdemeanors.8
“I believe” isn’t very reassuring. If there’s no question then get it done. If not, then shut the hell up and get back to work.
3. This isn’t about politics. It’s about the Constitution.
At least the Constitution offers some shelter for another impeachment-talking Democrat who spoke of Congress’s “constitutional duty”9 to go the extra mile:
Once the full record has been established, the Constitution mandates that the House determine whether the President’s conduct warrants a resolution of impeachment and referral to the U.S. Senate for trial. It’s imperative that this process proceed as quickly as possible, without political considerations, and in a manner that ensures the House is still be able to pursue its legislative agenda on behalf of the American people.10
That was in April. The people are still waiting. What happened to that constitutional mandate?
Democrats need to show us that they can be trusted. We’ve heard terrible things about our president. If they’re true, there’s no question we need to impeach immediately. If this all proves to be hot air and harsh words then the party has absolutely no credibility.That’s where I’m placing my money.
Those who believe what you hear, take heart. The Democratic Party’s non-politically motivated impeachment inquiry will play a lot better and be a lot more fun when the election gets closer.
UPDATE June 9, 2019: no proof means impeachment inquiry?
Let’s be clear on one thing: no confidence from Mueller that Trump didn’t commit a crime doesn’t mean a crime was committed. It doesn’t mean that an impeachment inquiry is the answer to a lack of proof. Democrats don’t see it that way, though, and even though they are willing to defend their own no matter what, they hate this president and in their deluded minds no confidence means grounds to start the impeachment process pronto.
Except they haven’t done that. They haven’t done much of anything except talk.
Maine’s Chellie Pingree talked the talk. She cited the still unquantified “foreign attack on our democracy.”11 Like most in her party neglected to mention Barack Obama’s failure to stop it from happening:
The Constitution provides a process for Congress to hold the Executive accountable for wrongdoing because no one is above the law. As dozens of serious investigations into President Trump and his business interests are underway in state and federal courts, I believe it is in the public interest that Congress continue its own investigations in the face of unprecedented obstruction and move toward an impeachment inquiry.12
Those are some pretty strong words, except for “move toward.” That means more talking and no action.
Is it possible the election isn’t close enough to get the ball rolling and fulfill that constitutional duty Democrats are so concerned about?
Chicago’s Mike Quigley also used the “Constitutional responsibilities”13 excuse when he called for an impeachment inquiry. He did get one thing right:
What the Special Counsel was saying is that the ball is in Congress’s court.14
That’s exactly right.
Democrats have been looking for ways to wipe this presidency from the face of American history since the day Trump announced his run for office. Proof or no proof, it’s time for party members in Congress to reinsert their liberal spines and stand by their convictions no matter how speculative, unsubstantiated, and politically-motivated.
Harsh language won’t get the job done.
We’re still waiting.
UPDATE June 10, 2019: desperate Dems reach back half a century for support
John Dean is front and center today. Confirming that “No one is above the law,”15 Jerry Nadler reached back nearly half a century to dig up a personality from the Nixon years to back his claims that:
Russia attacked our elections to help President Trump win, Trump and his campaign welcomed this help and the President then tried to obstruct the investigation into the attack. Mueller confirmed these revelations and has now left Congress to pick up where he left off.16
How much of that statement is true? If Democrats had the evidence to back Nadler’s words we would already be well on our way to impeachment.
Despite the title of today’s hearing, “Lessons from the Mueller Report: Presidential Obstruction and Other Crimes,” Democrats are done with Mueller. There were no lessons they can use from Mueller’s report or they wouldn’t need John Dean. The best they can come up with is a figure from our distant political past to drum up symbolic guilt by association.
Have they finally hit the bottom of this rabbit hole?
Nadler is correct. No one is above the law. Sadly, there isn’t a law to deal with public officials whose obsessions cross the boundaries of reason and ethics.
I’m thinking Joe McCarthy, not John Dean.
1. “Democrats Introduce Resolution to Censure Trump for Racist Comments.” Ed Perlmutter. January 18, 2018. https://perlmutter.house.gov/news/documentsingle.aspx?DocumentID=1971, retrieved June 4, 2019.
2. “Statement: Khanna in Response to Mueller’s Announcement.” Rho Khanna. May 29, 2019. https://khanna.house.gov/media/press-releases/statement-khanna-response-mueller-s-announcement, retrieved June 4, 2019.
3. “What changed: Why Colorado Democrats in Congress now support impeachment – or at least suggest it’s an option.” Ed Perlmutter. May 29, 2019. https://perlmutter.house.gov/news/documentsingle.aspx?DocumentID=4529, retrieved June 5, 2019.
5. “Congressman Neguse Statement On Opening an Impeachment Inquiry.” Joe Neguse. May 24, 2019. https://neguse.house.gov/media/press-releases/congressman-neguse-statement-opening-impeachment-inquiry, retrieved June 5, 2019.
7. “Beyer Calls For Impeachment Inquiry.” Don Beyer. May 21, 2019. https://beyer.house.gov/news/documentsingle.aspx?DocumentID=4350, retrieved June 5, 2019.
8. “Stanton Statement Regarding Opening an Impeachment Inquiry.” Greg Stanton. May 30, 2019. https://stanton.house.gov/media/press-releases/stanton-statement-regarding-opening-impeachment-inquiry, retrieved June 5, 2019.
9. “DeGette: The president’s actions constitute a prima facie case to merit an impeachment investigation.” Diana DeGette. April 23, 2019. https://degette.house.gov/media-center/press-releases/degette-the-president-s-actions-constitute-a-prima-facie-case-to-merit, retrieved June 6, 2019.
11. “Rep. Pingree: Congress Should Continue Investigations, Move Toward Impeachment Inquiry.” Chellie Pingree. May 29, 2019. https://pingree.house.gov/news/documentsingle.aspx?DocumentID=3065, retrieved June 9, 2019.
13. “Quigley Statement on Opening an Impeachment Inquiry.” Mike Quigley. May 31, 2019. https://quigley.house.gov/media-center/press-releases/quigley-statement-opening-impeachment-inquiry, retrieved June 9, 2019.
15. “House Judiciary Committee to Hold Series of Hearings on Mueller Report.” Jerry Nadler. June 3, 2019. https://nadler.house.gov/news/documentsingle.aspx?DocumentID=393939, retrieved June 10, 2019.
Image: “Vote at the Andrew Johnson impeachment exhibit.” NPS Photo. https://www.nps.gov/anjo/planyourvisit/things2do.htm, retrieved June 5, 2019.
Content updated after original publish date of June 6, 2019.