Joe Simonson, DCNF
Republicans around the country are warning voters that if Democrats win the House in 2018, it’s all but guaranteed they’ll impeach President Donald Trump — many in the media are treating it like a cynical political ploy.
Enter Esquire’s Charles P. Pierce, who called impeachment “the Republicans’ latest boogeyman for the 2018 elections.”
“So, when you hear Republican strategists talking about how the Democratic candidates are slavering at the chance to impeach this president*, know that these low moans are strategic in their purpose, disingenuous in their history, and almost utterly dishonest about the state of play in the 2018 midterm elections. Republicans create phantoms like this all the time to frighten their base voters,” Pierce wrote.
Pierce can’t find “a single Democratic candidate who is running specifically” on the issue of impeachment, he noted.
It’s unclear what exactly he’s talking about, considering Texas Republican Sen. Ted Cruz challenger Beto O’Rourke’s comments Monday suggested he’d like to see the president impeached.
Michigan Democratic primary candidate Rashida Tlaib made “impeachment” her “calling card,” according to an April 4 article in The Hill.
But let’s assume Pierce is technically right. After all, the Democratic Party has been hesitant in encouraging its candidates to run campaigns dedicated solely to opposing Trump. Even Obama presidential campaign chief strategist David Axelrod cautioned Democrats against running on an impeachment platform.
But don’t let that rhetorical sleight of hand fool you.
California Democratic Rep. Brad Sherman introduced articles of impeachment against Trump in July 2017.
“Donald John Trump has acted in a manner contrary to his trust as President and subversive of constitutional government, to the great prejudice of the cause of law and justice and to the manifest injury of the people of the United States,” Sherman wrote.
And he wasn’t the first. Six other Democratic House members introduced their own bill in November 2017 to impeach Trump, claiming he had “violated federal law, the public trust and should be charged with high crimes and misdemeanors,” according to The Daily Caller News Foundation’s Robert Donachie.
This isn’t the work of some rogue congressmen either: by January 2017, over a third of House Democrats — 66 — voted for impeachment proceedings.
Progressive activist groups and donors are going all in on impeachment as well. Anyone living in the New York City or Washington, D.C., areas has probably seen billionaire Tom Steyer’s pleads for Trump’s removals.
A majority of Americans don’t want to see Trump impeached, while Democrats do. Seven-in-10 Democrats want to see Congress bring up the vote, according to a December 2017 poll.
Despite all the political nastiness that accompanied former President Bill Clinton’s impeachment, it’s hard not to think such a period was incredibly civil compared to now.
Considering many Democratic and liberal pundits have a hard time even acknowledging Trump won the election fairly, the idea the GOP is simply contriving the impeachment threat is laughable. Remember, Hillary Clinton has repeatedly questioned the legitimacy of Trump’s victory.
The Democratic party’s entire message since Trump was inaugurated has been “#Resist.” After they vote to repeal 2017’s tax cuts, what would be a grander act of resistance than kicking Trump out of office?
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