Impeachment: The Democrats’ dilemma
It was a foolish moment ignorant of “the political reality,” said Thor Hogan in The Washington Post. Hours after she was sworn in to Congress, Michigan Democrat Rashida Tlaib vowed that she and the newly Democratic House were going to impeach President Trump. “We’re gonna go in there and we’re going to impeach the motherf---er,” she told a group of her celebrating supporters. Liberals might cheer her declaration of war, but getting 20 Republican votes to convict Trump in the GOP-controlled Senate “is highly unlikely.” Plus, a pitched impeachment battle will eclipse Democrats’ progressive legislative agenda and perhaps even rally Trump’s supporters the same way it did Bill Clinton’s. Rather than acting like angry firebrands who can’t wait to impeach Trump, said Dana Milbank, also in the Post, “it’s time for Democrats to be the grown-ups voters want.” House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) knows this, which is why she is insisting that Democrats wait for the results of special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation.
It’s already clear that Trump has committed many impeachable offenses, said David Leonhardt in The New York Times. He’s used the presidency “for personal enrichment” in violation of the Constitution’s Emoluments Clause, renting hotel rooms and office space to the Saudis and billing taxpayers for trips he and his entourage make to his own properties. He violated campaign finance law by paying hush money to a porn star and Playboy model just before the election. He’s obstructed justice by repeatedly trying to halt the FBI’s and Mueller’s investigations of his ties to Russia. Rather than just wait for Mueller’s findings, House Democrats should hold “a series of sober-minded hearings” to highlight Trump’s unprecedented misconduct and try to whittle away some of his Republican support. If Trump’s low approval ratings fall further, and Republican senators fear losing their seats in 2020, they may “have a political self-interest in abandoning him.”
That’s just a nicer way of saying, Impeach that mother, said The Wall Street Journal in an editorial. Tlaib irritated Democratic leaders not because they plan to govern as sober adults but because she didn’t make a pretense of waiting to see whether Mueller produces evidence of collusion with Russia. Like it or not, Tlaib gave voice to what all Democrats are thinking: We’ve got Trump dead to rights. That’s the reality hiding behind Pelosi’s “wait-and-see” approach.