The impeachment countdown is on. Democrats are lurching inexorably toward trying to dump President Trump, even if they won’t admit it now.
Conventional wisdom says that the Dems, who are about to take over the U.S. House, are proceeding cautiously, and will be reluctant to launch into impeachment proceedings. Nancy Pelosi is trying her best to restrain herself.
Don’t believe it.
Democrats would like nothing better than to oust Trump. If Robert Mueller provides them with the ammo, the party won’t be able to resist. Left-leaning voters are pressuring lawmakers to act, thinking about the monthslong torture that impeachment will inflict on the president.
Who is the most popular Democrat in the country? You could argue it’s Beto O’Rourke, the failed Texas Senate candidate and current White House wannabe celeb.
“I do think there’s enough there for impeachment,” Beto said during his 2018 Senate campaign.
Yes, O’Rourke lost, but only because he was running in Texas. Now that he’s No. 1 in the 2020 polls, O’Rourke’s words carry more weight. Democratic voters love his aggressiveness.
With the House in their hands, Democratic leaders are planning to use their subpoena power, and hope that it uncovers more evidence of Trump’s high crimes and misdemeanors. CNN has already written an “Impeachment 101” story, providing a timeline on what to expect from a formal push to oust Trump.
Even if collusion can’t be proved, there are plenty of other legal avenues to pursue. There’s Trump’s financial dealings, possible obstruction of justice, the inauguration funding scheme, Trump’s tax payments and, of course, the emoluments clause. All of which could provide the base for impeachment charges.
But here’s the reality: The thirst for impeachment carries huge risks for the Democratic Party. All they have to do is look back at the late ’90s, when Republicans moved ahead with the impeachment of President Clinton.
Clinton was impeached, yes. But he was never convicted in the Senate, despite Republican control, and actually became more popular as a result of the impeachment drive. Republicans lost seats in both chambers in the 2000 election.
Impeaching Trump will be even more difficult than going after Clinton. Because Republicans now control the Senate, it would take 20 GOP senators to flip and reach the two-thirds vote necessary to convict Trump. Without any clear evidence of “high crimes,” that’s never going to happen. Republicans are not going to impeach Trump based on a few campaign finance violations.
And here’s the final problem with impeachment: It won’t solve anything. Democrats wouldn’t take back the White House, they’d only be handing it off to Vice President Mike Pence.
But such small inconveniences don’t seem to matter. In the Democrats’ minds, Trump is dangerous and has to go. Getting revenge on the president for winning the White House is the ultimate goal, and nothing less than impeachment will stand.
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