For some time now it has been obvious that the House is engaged in an impeachment inquiry. The House Democrats are just doing what I call a semantics dance to avoid that specific verbiage. It is time for the dancing to come to a full stop!
I consider myself to be a practical progressive. I have seen a lot of the sausage making over the decades and understand that when it comes to legislation, in particular, things take what often seems to be an agonizingly long time to reach what is most often a compromise destination. You can’t get everything you want and it certainly won’t come instantly! Trump’s transgressions are getting progressively worse and he is now not only admitting to them he is openly bragging about and defending them. Today I call on the House Democrats to lift the veil and call the investigations what they are: an impeachment inquiry and move full speed ahead with them.
I understand the political calculus involved. We are past the point where we have the luxury of political calculus; this is a fight for the survival of American democracy and the American Constitution. The House must impeach Trump.
I spent a good deal of Monday finally coming to this conclusion. I slept on it and am writing this on Tuesday morning. This article won’t be posted until early Wednesday morning and I won’t hazard to guess what will transpire in the interim. I don’t care. I am taking my stand.
There is some question as to whether or not the votes to impeach exist in the House as of this writing. I feel confident that with what the inquiries will expose and the ensuing and inevitable shift in public sentiment they will be there by the time the article of impeachment reach the House floor. That is somewhat less than half the battle. Impeachment (think: indictment) only requires a majority vote in the House. Removal from office requires conviction in the Senate by a two-thirds vote with the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court acting as the presiding officer of that body. I’m not too concerned about John Robert’s performance; I think (and hope I am correct) that he will basically be fair. Besides, that body largely self-rules.
Assuming all the Democratic Senators and the two independents that caucus with them vote to convict 20 Republicans would still have to cross over to get the needed 67 votes. That is a tall order but more within the realm of possibility than one would think at first glance especially if the vote took place prior to the 2020 election.
Perhaps due to my age, my frame of reference is largely Watergate. As the PUBLIC hearings went on public opinion and with it Republicans shifted away from Nixon. I can see a similar shift with Russiagate/Ukrainegate. If Republicans like Susan Collins and Joni Ernst vote to acquit let them run on that vote. What about a lame duck like Lamar Alexander? How about someone who appears to have a seat for life if he wants it like Mitt Romney? I often disagree with both on policy but could see both joining a movement although I don’t think either will be the first to take a stand.
You say what about Mitch McConnell refusing to bring the articles of impeachment to the Senate floor. Can you imagine the public outcry? (Inevitably it boils down to the people.) Suddenly he might actually like the moniker of Moscow Mitch – everything in life is relative and Mitch is up in 2020.
I’m not big on purity tests but if the vote to impeach/remove from office occurs in either chamber I will make it a litmus test vote; if you care more about your seat than the country then I simply will refuse to support you. If you are not willing to risk your political future to save American democracy and the American Constitution then what good are you?
I’m an American, a progressive and a Democrat in that order – the order is important. There is an expression (popular in sports and business) that failure is not an option. In this case inaction in the avoidance of possible failure is not an option. The music has stopped and the time for dancing around words is over; now is the time for impeachment and let the chips fall where they may.
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