If Trump cannot be impeached, who can?
This joke has been killed by older millennials like me, but I need to bring Nancy Pelosi, Steny Hoyer and Adam Schiff’s attention to it, because history may remember them as the people who made Idiocracy a documentary. Quite literally, if Donald Trump cannot be impeached, then President Camacho is the new bar for what constitutes an impeachable president. Look in the mirror America. This may be us now.
How the hell can anyone make the case that President Donald J. Trump should not go through impeachment in the House, especially in light of special counsel Robert Mueller’s determination that in his nearly two-year investigation, “while this report does not conclude that the president committed a crime, it also does not exonerate him.”
Impeachment will not remove Trump from office, but that’s not the point. The point is that this is both a moral and a constitutional duty.
Guess who understands how the constitution mandates that the legislative branch must oversee the executive branch—especially when the head of the executive branch is a comically transparent criminal who can’t stop doing crimes or confessing to crimes ever.
While I understand the political reality of the Senate + election considerations, upon reading this DoJ report, which explicitly names Congress in determining obstruction, I cannot see a reason for us to abdicate from our constitutionally mandated responsibility to investigate.— Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (@AOC) April 18, 2019
Guess who doesn't?
Lots of House Democrats, per Politico:
Robert Mueller's report reveals a stunning array of new allegations against President Donald Trump. But one thing remains the same: House Democrats are ducking any talk of impeachment.
To be fair, it's hard to blame everyone quoted in that article when Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi said a little over a month ago: “I'm not for impeachment,” and her second-in-command said this after the Mueller Report came out yesterday.
“Based on what we have seen to date, going forward on impeachment is not worthwhile at this point. Very frankly, there is an election in 18 months and the American people will make a judgement,” House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer told @DanaBashCNN .— Manu Raju (@mkraju) April 18, 2019
After hopefully getting slapped by the constitution, House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer gave a statement more befitting of the seriousness of his office.
Congress must have the full report & all underlying evidence in order to determine what actions may be necessary to ensure that the Congress & the American people have all the info they need to know the truth & all options ought to remain on the table to achieve that objective.— Steny Hoyer (@LeaderHoyer) April 19, 2019
Pelosi letter to the Democratic caucus tonight: "The Mueller report states, 'We concluded Congress has authority to prohibit a president's corrupt use of his authority in order to protect the integrity of the administration of justice' ... Congress will not be silent."— Kyle Griffin (@kylegriffin1) April 19, 2019
This is your duty, Democrats. You have cover to do this. You have to do this. Hell, Robert Mueller asked you to. It says so right there in The Mueller Report:
With respect to whether the President can be found to have obstructed justice by exercising his powers under Article II of the Constitution, we concluded that Congress has authority to prohibit a President’s corrupt use of his authority in order to protect the integrity of the administration of justice.
The reason that Robert Mueller wrote this is because like Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez—and everyone with constitutional knowledge equivalent to one month of Polisci 101—he understands that the constitution makes Congress’s oversight powers non-negotiable.
Hey elected Democrats, know those checks and balances you love to rhetorically wrap yourself in on the campaign trail? You’re one of them. It’s time to check the executive. Besides, this is an opportunity to reverse the narrative that jerk leftists like me love to impose upon you (because all I know in my 32-year life is that you seem doomed to repeat the same mistakes, and the only way I can deal with that continuous heartbreak is by poisoning myself with irony).
This is classic 1990s Democratic Party. Don’t rock the boat. Run down the middle. Win the moderates. Don’t piss people off. Freedom. Hard work. Blah blah blah. That got us 12 years (and counting) of George W. Bush and Donald J. Trump. How’d that strategy work out for all of us?
I get the play here. Only 42% of Americans (pre-Mueller Report) believe that Trump should be impeached, versus 54% who say he shouldn’t. Not impeaching Trump is the “safe” move, and we’ve got a good hand. Donald freaking Trump is president. If you remove the impending apocalypse hanging over his reelection, it’s actually a really favorable matchup for us. Trump is an underdog against every single Democrat in contention.
But reacting to public opinion is the old Democratic Party. The New Democratic Party—led by the Millennial Speaker of the House—is helping to shape public opinion. You see, if you treat people like adults who can have real conversations and change their mind on some things—or take the time out of their incredibly busy schedules to learn where their true interests lie—you can recruit people to your cause, and then you have a movement.
Movements don’t just shape public opinion. They shape history.
Pre-Mueller Report Pelosi and Hoyer were 1990s reactionary Democrats. Extremely early post-Mueller Report Pelosi and Hoyer were more aggressive, while vaguely echoing the 2020 vision being pushed forward by two new, and far more liberal generations.
These new, far more liberal generations also double as the two largest in human history, so the “safe” electoral argument being made by Democratic leadership pre-Mueller Report is far from a certainty. Plus, again: impeaching Trump in the House does not mean he gets removed—and given that Mitch “I will murder kittens in front of my children for one circuit judge” McConnell runs the Senate, it’s a near-certainty that regardless of what the House does, we’re stuck with Trump until 2021. That’s not the end of the world, and forcing Republicans to defend a wildly unpopular president against impeachment is a good strategy. Trump’s their guy—make them own him and all of his crimes.
So impeach him. Impeach him, impeach him, impeach him. Public opinion was on the uptick pre-Mueller Report anyway (fueled by a 14% rise in Independents favoring Trump’s impeachment), and the former Republican head of the FBI just asked Congress to investigate his obstruction findings. If the evidence against Trump on obstruction of justice wasn’t near-worthy of impeachment, Robert Mueller would not have asked Congress to consider it. You made this man your savior, Democrats, now heed his word.
Jacob Weindling is a staff writer for Paste politics. Follow him on Twitter at @Jakeweindling.