A sentiment that appeared frequently in social media over the past several days was in the vein of “the dam is breaking”/”this time it’s different”. Democrats in Congress who have previously refrained from supporting an official impeachment inquiry have been publicly announcing that they now are on board and support has been snowballing.
This has led to a Washington Post story this afternoon that Speaker Nancy Pelosi will announce today, the start of a formal impeachment inquiry against Donald Trump.
All of this was in response to the latest and heinous behavior by Donald Trump to muscle President Zelensky of Ukraine into investigating and smearing potential 2020 opponent, Joe Biden.
This wasn’t the straw that broke the camel’s back, it was a two ton girder of betrayal and abuse of power that squashed the camel flat. It was so blatant and shocking that Democrats in Congress…but even more importantly, The American people, were so outraged that Trump’s continued freedom to destroy our democracy unfettered and the status quo that Speaker Nancy Pelosi has tried to sustain to avoid impeachment, were no longer acceptable.
The outrage across the nation was palpable this weekend. Pelosi’s social media accounts were swamped with both polite and furious comments insisting that she needs to impeach now (and commenters were often disrespecting whatever comment of condemnation Pelosi was posting as now being meaningless and toothless).
Those who were still posting about how they trust in Pelosi to have a secret long term plan to impeach Trump and that everyone needs to wait until the majority of Americans are onboard with impeachment were overwhelmed by Democrats who disputed that plan claim as unprovable and a useless exercise in blind faith.
Just as with the aftermath of the El Paso and Dayton shootings, the floodgates of “Do Something!” opened wide and a torrent of public sentiment for action inundated congressional Democrats (and Pelosi).
There are three reasons why an actual impeachment inquiry is going to begin:
- Donald Trump abused his power (again) to extort Ukraine to slime Joe Biden.
- A brave whistle-blower put himself/herself at risk to expose this scheme.
- The American public stood up to demand that Trump be stopped through impeachment and Democrats in Congress listened to the people and Speaker Pelosi listened to them.
Despite the convoluted logic of a few, this is not what Donald Trump wanted or expected. He thought he’d get away with this as he did with colluding with Russia and obstructing justice. And he was almost right.
Trump is a compulsive bully with no morals or self-restraint. He has always escaped serious consequences for his terrible actions, especially as president and he knows that very well. After escaping unimpeached from the Mueller Report, he felt untouchable. Trump is losing right now in polls, is less likely to win re-election but he knows he needs to win or he’ll be indicted for his many crimes. Trump will do whatever it takes to win, he has no limits. So he decided to try and repeat his successful and dishonest “Hillary’s Emails!” sliming ploy against Biden and again enlisting the help of a foreign country, extorting Ukraine to do his dirty work for him.
Despite the belief of some Democrats in her having some three-dimensional chess plan to impeach Trump, this is also not what Pelosi wanted or expected. She made it absolutely clear that she did not support impeachment in any case aside from a fantasy scenario where a majority of the public and most Republicans in the Senate would have somehow supported impeachment first, before an impeachment inquiry that would be needed to convince them, had started.
It was a not-so-subtle way of saying that she wouldn’t allow impeachment, using an impossible condition to prevent it. Pelosi had planned on continuing her policy of letting pro-impeachment Dems try to hold ineffective, Trump-sabotaged hearings while protecting Red district Dems from ever having to support or vote on impeachment.
Then the whistle-blower’s complaint happened and kicked over both Trump’s and Pelosi’s game board. Now there was an egregious offense in front of the public, one that profoundly threatens our democracy and very importantly, was simple and easy for the public to recognize. This was not another complex Mueller Report, this was not just another casual violation of checks and balances, it was a simple but major betrayal of America.
Trump and his cronies are now trying to do what they have always done to sabotage consequences for his unlawful and unconstitutional actions.
First, deny everything and attack those making accusations.
Second, roll out admissions then denials of admissions.
Third, try to confuse and turn off the public by flooding the zone with conflicting descriptions of what did or didn’t happen.
Fourth, throw out an “official” explanation of what happened that says nothing wrong happened…and even if it did, it wasn’t illegal or impeachable.
And lastly, playing the victim card and projecting his own failings onto Democrats, portraying them as hateful, partisan and not helping the people on issues that matter.
Trump tweeted this morning that he will be releasing the full, unredacted transcript of his conversation with President Zalensky. No doubt it will be preceded by a summary from AG William Barr saying it proves there is no collusion or obstruction. While they may think this could work to undermine impeachment, the credibility of Trump and his cronies with the American public couldn’t be lower. At this point, who but Trump’s cultist followers would fully believe anything he or his cronies released?
And the bigger issue here is not this one particular conversation but the whistle-blower’s full complaint. The complaint is said to describe multiple instances that caused great and urgent concern for national security…and Trump is illegally blocking its release to Congress. So this “clever” ploy will change nothing.
Impeachment may not result in getting Trump removed from the White House but it should be a powerful shot across the bow for Trump and scare him enough to pull back from doing absolutely anything he wants to do.
It will also expedite court decisions in cases where Trump is stonewalling, to compel testimony and evidence from Trump and his gang. And most importantly, it will lead to televised hearings as in Watergate, which, by publicizing the criminal acts of Nixon in detail, turned public opinion and Republican politicians against him enough for them to support convicting and removing him.
And a small satisfaction will be Trump’s anger at knowing that he will go down in history as a president who was impeached (and hopefully removed or forced to resign). And the cherry on top of that sundae is that he knows that his hated predecessor, President Obama, won’t have that same failure of character pinned on him in history books forever. And also, it may make Trump getting a Nobel Prize for Hubris less likely too.
While the impeachment bandwagon is something Pelosi had no choice but to join so as not to suffer the indignation of the party moving on it without her, the dissatisfaction with her previous blocking of impeachment should be put aside for good. It serves no purpose to sustain division in the Democratic Party because of a disagreement that doesn’t matter anymore.
Democrats have big things to do now, we’re all on the same side moving forward and we’ll need to just work together to hold Trump accountable through the impeachment process. And hopefully, remove him before he destroys any more of our country and democracy.