I live in a deep blue bubble where people have been jumping on the impeachment bandwagon for a long time. I mainline Pod Save America, and constantly read in “What a Day,” Crooked Media’s online newsletter, pro-impeachment arguments and lamentations about Nancy Pelosi’s caution. I love Michelle Goldberg, Charles Blow, and Jamelle Bouie, all New York Times columnists who favor impeachment and are passionate about removing Trump from office.
I share that passion. But until recently I have not been persuaded that impeachment is the right strategy. I distrust the preaching-to-the-choir fervor among many proponents, and I want to tear my hair out when I hear, “I don’t care if we lose seats, it’s the moral thing to do!”
As someone who spent a lot of time canvassing in a swing district in the run-up to the mid-terms, I can attest that people outside of deep blue bubbles care about healthcare, jobs, and traffic far more than impeachment, and that they tend to give the President the benefit of the doubt even if they don’t like his blowhard style. Nancy Pelosi has been right to worry about the vulnerability of Freshman Democrats from such districts who constitute the bulk of last year’s flipped seats. Like Pelosi, I have believed that the President wants to goad Democrats into a trap, that thorough investigations in the House should proceed, and that Trump and his entire party of enablers are best impeached at the polls. Plus, the prospect of a President Pence has scared me even more than the current arsonist-in-chief, who at least keeps people alarmed enough to actively work to defeat him.
My internal needle on impeachment has been changing, though. Trump’s continuing defiance of laws and norms, completely supported by the Dereliction-of-Duty Republicans, have stymied other options to hold him accountable, and we can’t continue with this erratic sociopath until November 2020 in what Pod Save‘s Dan Pfeiffer calls “Impeachment Purgatory.”
The silver lining of Trump’s presidency is that you don’t have to wait that long for his next self-destructive eruption. Now, thanks to the bravery of an intelligence whistleblower, clear lawbreaking by the Administration’s obstruction of the complaint’s delivery to Congress, and Trump’s public confession of soliciting foreign interference from the Ukrainian president for his own political gain in the 2020 election, there’s a fresh and clear-cut display of impeachable offenses. The latest revelations provide the hook to act now.
It’s time. “What took you so long?” some might say. Perhaps. But I prefer to think of it as “Now more than ever.”
ITMFA: Impeach the Motherfucker Already. I snapped that photo at the end of May in Oakland. I wasn’t there yet. But I’m there now. Even if the Senate acquits, get every Republican on record. Then impeach at the polls. Every last one of them.