Too many Democrats are tying themselves in knots in order to avoid committing to impeachment hearings for President Donald Trump, a man who, in his best days, betrays the public trust ten times before finishing his first Sausage McMuffin of the morning. But the arguments Democrats make are utter bullshit, and they’re belied by history, circumstance, and the Democrats’ own actions.
“Why bother impeaching Trump when we know the Senate won’t vote to convict?” is something you hear over and over and over. Yet, a few days ago, the Democratically-controlled House of Representatives, where impeachment hearings and votes would occur, passed a bill that forces the United States to stay in the Paris accord on climate change. In the past couple of months, the House has passed an election reform bill, a gun control bill, a gender pay gap bill, a bill rejecting Trump’s emergency declaration on the border, a net neutrality bill, and a bill that funds converting unicorn farts into renewable energy. Well, not that last one, but they may as well have.
You know what all the real bills have in common? There’s not a flea fuck in Hell’s chance that the Republican-controlled Senate will pass them. The bills are, for all practical purposes, being voted on for show – show what we believe, show what they oppose. But Nancy Pelosi has no problem lining up bill after bill, just begging the Senate to shoot them down so that Democrats can campaign on how Republicans want us all to die, take away our rights, and force us to have babies. Almost no one talks about how this is a waste of time because it really isn’t. Rallying the faithful is as good a cause as any.
The catalyzing effect would be even stronger when it comes to impeachment. You might hear that a majority of Americans don’t think impeachment hearings are warranted. A recent Marist poll showed that 53% of those surveyed oppose them. Except when you dig into the poll, a much more interesting picture appears. Sure, 91% of Republicans oppose impeachment, with 70% of Democrats supporting it. But more fascinating, independent women support impeachment 54% to 37%. And, further down, a majority of just about every group other than Republicans as a whole support either impeachment or more investigations. Finally, 70% of Democrats say they would definitely vote for a candidate who supports impeachment, with, intriguingly, Independents split on whether or not they would.
And, honestly, I don’t think most people understand that there are hearings before impeachment. A whole lot of Americans are primed and ready for those. They would naturally reveal more about Trump’s obstruction efforts and function as congressional investigations. What those investigations end up proving about Trump’s criminality and unfitness for office might significantly move the needle on impeachment support. As PBS Newshour points out, “When the Watergate scandal broke in 1973, only 35 percent to 40 percent of Americans wanted to move forward with impeachment proceedings against President Richard Nixon. One year later, more than 70 percent thought Congress should begin impeachment proceedings against Nixon.”
On top of that, with 70% of Democrats already on board the impeachment train, failure to move it forward might have the effect of depressing the vote. That’s what I think is behind these reports that Republicans really, really want impeachment to go forward. Those motherfuckers are double-dog daring Democrats, seeing a way to split the party on the issue. Man, fuck them and what they think. You’re gonna let the arsonists tell you what fire alarms to buy? If Democrats followed Elizabeth Warren’s lead and just outright embraced impeachment because it’s, you know, their fucking duty, it would electrify Democratic voters and get them engaged and ready and anxious to punch Republicans right in the dick in 2020.
We also hear that impeachment is so serious because it might mean a lawfully-elected president is removed from office, undoing the will of the (not majority of the) people. But those people also elected a Congress, and those members of Congress have impeachment as one of their duties. It would be just as wrong to say that they shouldn’t do one of the things they were entrusted with if necessary.
Elections have consequences. We fucking know that. It’s time that Donald Trump learns that lesson, too.
Editor’s Note: This essay originally appeared on May 8, 2019 on The Rude Pundit, a website featuring commentary by Lee Papa. It was reproduced here with the consent of Mr. Papa.