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Dems Might Lose If They Impeach, We All Lose If They Don’t

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According to Donald J. Trump, he doesn’t “do cover-ups,” but the claim is difficult to accept given that he also doesn’t do facts. You can’t be a conscious being living anywhere near reality without acknowledging that the president has lied, at least a few times, about things that are easily verifiable.

 

It is this phenomenon that currently exists in the White House, coupled with an increasingly audacious resistance to investigation and pubic disclosure, that moves impeachment inquiry beyond a matter of contemplation and into the realm of necessity, and that leaves House Speaker Nancy Pelosi in a terrible position.

This is a damned if you do, damned if you don’t kind of conundrum for the ages. Trump’s blatant disregard for and attacks on Constitutional norms leaves House Democrats with little wiggle room out of an impeachment inquiry. With every subpoena he fights, he is quite literally forcing them to play a hand they would prefer to pass on, and he knows it. Pelosi (wisely) knows that impeachment must be bipartisan to achieve any level of success, and at this moment we couldn’t find a bipartisan way out of a paper sack. She also knows that the process itself is costly and tiresome on the pubic and any potential backlash will be detrimental at the ballot box.

The speaker is catching a lot of heat from people who have been paying enough attention (Democrats and a good chunk of sensible, non-seated Republicans) to realize that the Special Counsel report outlines several incidents that meet all three legal elements of obstruction of justice: obstructive act, nexus to an official proceeding and corrupt intent. It is all but written in bold italics that the only thing that prevented Robert F. Mueller from recommending actual charges was the existence of that Office of Legal Counsel (OLC) memo, which surmises that a sitting president cannot be indicted.

It has also become known that investigation into the president’s financial ties was outside the Special Counsel’s purview, leaving a gaping hole in the big picture about whether or not the sitting president is compromised in any way by foreign adversaries. It is the job of Congress to fill in those gaps; however, all attempts they have made to do so have been met with a middle finger. If there is nothing to hide, why doth the president protest so much, and why the need to install an attorney general to act as a personal defense lawyer?

Donald Trump and Wiliam Barr. (Official White House Photo by Tia Dufour)

The current behavior of the president and team is as alarming as any one of the allegations, simply because it sets dangerous precedent for the future of the country and for our credibility on the global stage. As that reality thickens, the demand for an impeachment inquiry grows. Even if it turns out the man is only guilty of gibberish and falsehoods – is found to be completely innocent of any nefarious scheme – it should be wholly unacceptable to either party that an elected president, sworn to uphold the Constitution, would act in such an autocratic way. The GOP may want to think twice before sanctioning such democratic process destruction because there will come a day when it’s not their guy in office.

We are living in a moment in time when each move is being dutifully recorded for the greater annals of history. It is now, in this era overrun by political rhetoric, when heroes must rise and integrity must reign. The likelihood is bleak, but not impossible.

But for Pelosi, this is a space in which integrity may come at too great a cost if the Democrats eat it in 2020. She’s forced to choose between one of the most important elections in the history of the United States or the founding principles that make the United States what it is (on our best and worst days). But what if there was another choice? What if she launches the impeachment inquiry, airs the laundry, lets the public decide…and still wins? There is more to the latter option than we give credit for.

Photo by Erik McGregor/Pacific Press/LightRocket via Getty Images

Yes, Trump’s approval rating among Republicans rides around an astonishing 90 percent, according to Gallup, and he loves to wave that fact around at rallies. But what he fails to mention is that the Republican Party is shrinking in numbers. A study done by University of Virginia Center for Politics ahead of the midterms found that “40 percent of all voters in party registration states are Democrats, while only 29 percent are Republicans.” As pollster Lee Miringoff told The Hill, “the base is more solid than it was, but there’s fewer of them.”

Trump almost seems excited at the prospect of using the impeachment narrative to fire up his base and it might accomplish that mission, but if the opposite holds true for Democrats, who hold a larger share of the voter block, it may not work out to his benefit. If done right, without overly dramatic and sensational chicken props, Pelosi may be able to translate an impeachment proceeding into a show of party backbone and come out on the right end of voter turnout.

It may, with A LOT of restraint and maturity, work out for Democrats this time around, and that is a big question mark, but is that really the most important piece? At the end of the day and at the end of this presidency, whenever that may be, we will all have to answer for where we stood in this moment.

How much does integrity mean to you?

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Nik Wojcik - East Bay Editor

Nik Wojcik - East Bay Editor

Journalist, editor, student, single mom to a pack of wolves, foodie, music lover, resident smart ass, and champion of vulgarity and human kindness.