As the House votes to make Donald Trump the third president in American history to be impeached, I had some thoughts.
1. The Imperial Presidency was curbed after Nixon resigned, but it’s grown back up. Congress no longer views itself as a co-equal branch of government, at least not when “their guy” is in office. The return to the Imperial Presidency ramped up after 9/11 under GWB, kept going under Obama, and now it’s full-fledged under Trump. Why do so many hate politics? You look at what both parties said about Clinton’s impeachment in the 1990s vs. Trump’s impeachment now. Almost all of them are singing completely different tunes.
2. Personally I think both impeachments are/were justified. I also think the Democrats are using the “Al Capone for tax evasion” strategy and it isn’t working. They believe he’s done a lot worse, but if they can get him on THIS, then they can at least get him impeached. For the real truth to come out, the investigation needed to go longer. They needed to go through the courts to force guys like Rudy Giuliani and John Bolton and Mick Mulvaney to testify.
3. I’ve watched or listened to several hours of the Ukraine hearings. The GOP strategy is to obstruct and complain and yell about the process, make sure they get favorable soundbites that Donald Trump will retweet and Fox News primetime will re-air. Why only argue the process? It’s because they know he did it. He even repeated it on TV. I watched a couple of hours of the House floor “debate”, which was really both sides taking turns reading their talking points in dramatic fashion. Twice, Republicans compared Trump to Jesus.
4. Someone is blackmailing Lindsey Graham. That’s the only logical explanation.
5. Trump won’t be removed. But if he loses in 2020, he’ll spend the next four years furiously tweeting about how the new president is a corrupt loser, how the Democrats impeached him on a hoax, how the 2020 election was rigged, how he was the greatest president in history, and how he’s going to run again in 2024. Republicans who complain about him behind closed doors need to realize he’s not going away. I look at how quickly the GOP was happy to be rid of Bush in 2009, but Bush quietly went away. Trump will not.
6. If he wins, it’ll be four more years of alienating allies, kissing up to strongmen, daily rage-tweeting, hundreds of millions of taxpayer dollars spent on his golfing and resorts and hotels, and he’ll probably do something stupid to get himself impeached again. And he has to figure out how to stave off the inevitable recession for which we’re due. Meanwhile the Republicans still there will have to wonder what their souls are worth.