Get Over Yourselves About Impeachment

September 3, 2017

Get Over Yourselves About Impeachment



The New York Times reported, on September 1, that Mueller Has Early Draft of Trump Letter Giving Reasons for Firing Mueller. Political Wire linked to the story, with the headline Pence Linked to Decision to Fire Comey, and wrote: This is a pretty big deal.

No, it’s not! I’m sorry, but the people who focus on a legitimate basis for impeachment are so “decades ago.” But not even, for future President of the United States of America Gerald Ford said, on April 15, 1970, “an impeachable offense is whatever a majority of the House of Representatives considers it to be at a given moment in history.”

Impeachment won’t likely be in Donald Trump’s future. Presently, the Rs have 234 Representatives. The Ds have 201. Seventeen Rs need to vote for impeachment, assuming every D supports an impeachment resolution. Seventeen R votes? Unlikely. Every D voting for impeachment? Even less likely, for there are surely Ds who think: (a) an Aye vote hurts them back home; (b) attention as a No voter makes sense; or (c) the American people picked this momzer, and should live with him.*

Then there’s removal, which requires 67 votes from the Senate, and 52 Rs sit there. Should anyone expect 15 R senators to vote Aye and remove Donald Trump from office? Uh no! Be clearer, you say. OK. NO!!!

Now, back in the day—roughly 20 years ago—the Rs impeached Bill Clinton because he lied about an affair. (Don’t affairs require lying? Okay, maybe not in sworn testimony, but let’s not forget what the case was all about.) They did so because they could, and not because they thought they could remove him from office. Here’s the history:

The managers brought four charges: two perjury counts (one for the deposition testimony, and the other for grand jury testimony), one for obstruction of justice, and one for abuse of power. By 10 and 3 vote margins, the obstruction and grand jury perjury counts succeeded. The other two counts did not get the needed votes by wide margins. And in the Senate—where the Rs held 55 seats—only 50 Senators voted to convict on the perjury charge, while only 45 voted Aye on the obstruction of justice count.

The Rs and Ds have different skill sets in Congress. The Rs get elected, really well, and they elect younger men and women. They gum up the works with aplomb. And they Make Statements. The Ds, on the other hand, get sh*t done, but only when they have the reins. They also tend to be more pragmatic.

My point? Don’t expect a D driven impeachment effort, unless it will likely lead to Mr. Trump leaving office. Frankly, impeachment without a conviction gives Trump supporters more fodder for their grievance machines, and nothing more than that. And, unless and until we see evidence that at least 15 R senators have reached their limit with Mr. Trump, impeachment talk represents sound and fury, signifying nothing.

*I vote no, regardless of the officeholder, in recall elections. Elections have consequences, and we should save removal for the most egregious, outrageous cases. I haven’t seen that case yet. And Mr. Trump? Egregious and outrageous, for sure, but totally predictable. He’s the guy we chose!

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