• Monthly
  • $25
  • $50
  • $100
  • $other
  • use PayPal

SPRING FUNDRAISER

Is it time for our Spring fundraiser already? If you enjoy what we offer, and have the means, please consider donating. The sooner we reach our modest goal, the faster we can get back to business as (un)usual. Please, stay safe and we’ll see you down the road.
FacebookTwitterRedditEmail

Impeachment is on the Rails, But That’s Not the Hard Part

Photograph Source: AFGE – CC BY 2.0

On September 24, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) elbowed her way to the front of a parade she’d been trying to disperse since early 2017. “Today,” she said, “I’m announcing the House of Representatives is moving forward with an official impeachment inquiry and directing our six committees to proceed with their investigation under that umbrella of impeachment inquiry.”

Pelosi’s announcement doesn’t reflect a personal change of mind. It reflects recognition of political reality. She’s for impeachment after being against it because she believes it’s going to happen with or without her.

If there’s one thing Pelosi’s good at, it’s counting votes. As the Democratic Party’s leader in the House since 2003, that’s her job: Building and herding majorities to achieve her party’s legislative goals, blocking minorities whose plans don’t serve those goals or aren’t ready for prime time.

She’s gone from “block” mode to “herd” mode. QED, a House majority for impeachment is inevitable, if not already in the bag. She can either lead the parade or get left behind by it. She’s choosing to lead it.

It’s not a job she really wants. Her prior political instinct seems to have been that impeachment will hurt rather than help the Democratic Party going into the 2020 elections. That instinct was probably correct, and turning the situation around will be difficult.

In order for the Democrats to make political hay with impeachment in the absence of a likely conviction, instead of losing congressional seats and the next presidential election (as Republicans did after their ill-fated impeachment of Bill Clinton), at least two things need to happen.

One is that Joe Biden has to get thrown under the bus. Immediately. His own perceived (and, yes, GOP-promoted) abuse of power / “quid pro quo” problem with Ukraine has already cost him the 2020 Democratic presidential nomination. The longer other Democrats pretend otherwise and continue to defend him, the more it will cost them as well.

The other is that the impeachment allegations need to be exceedingly narrow so that when Republicans vote against conviction, there can be no wiggle room, no reasonable doubt to be raised: They voted in favor of corruption and against presidential accountability.

Donald Trump abused his presidential power to pressure a foreign government to investigate a political opponent, then tried to hide what he’d done. That’s indisputable.

More importantly, it’s enough. “Quid pro quo” in the form of foreign aid or not, and any other extant allegations aside, these are acts most Americans understand as corrupt.

“I could stand in the middle of Fifth Avenue and shoot somebody and I wouldn’t lose any voters,” Donald Trump bragged a year before his inauguration. Among the general electorate, that remains to be seen, but where the US Senate is concerned, he could probably do exactly that and not lose the 20 Republican votes required to convict him following impeachment.

The voters will likely remove Trump from office next November in the usual way. The impeachment prize is convincing voters that politicians who take Trump’s side aren’t taking their side.

More articles by:

Thomas L. Knapp is director and senior news analyst at the William Lloyd Garrison Center for Libertarian Advocacy Journalism (thegarrisoncenter.org). He lives and works in north central Florida.

June 03, 2020
Anthony DiMaggio
Revolution, Not Riots: Prospects for Radical Transformation in the Covid-19 Era
Jennifer Loewenstein
From Mississippi to Minneapolis: Leaving the ‘Abyss of Despair’
Kenneth Surin
The UK Compared With Other Countries on the Pandemic
Paul Street
“Total Domination”: Popular Rebellion in the Shadow of Trumpism-Fascism
Kenn Orphan
The Sadism of American Power
John Pilger
The Coup Against ‘The Most Loyal Ally’
Eric Murphy
The Police Are The Out-Of-Towners Provoking Violence
Melvin Goodman
How the Washington Post Accommodates Disinformation
Rev. William Alberts
It’s the Worshippers Who Are “Essential”
Georgina Downs
No, the Public Fury Will Not “Move On” Prime Minister!
George V. Wright
It is Happening Here
M. G. Piety
Tales from the Dark Side of Customer Service, or “Christians” Giving Christians a Bad Name
Chandra Muzaffar
A Superpower in Chaos
Thomas Knapp
Time to Stop Messing Around and Strike at the Root of Police Violence
Thomas M. Hanna
The Oligopoly That Controls Our Digital Infrastructure Has Deepened Economic and Racial Divides
Andrew Stewart
The Ethics of Police Murder Video Exhibition: Democratizing The News Feed, Re-Traumatizing The Survivors, Or Both?
Binoy Kampmark
Death, Protest and George Floyd
David Rovics
Who’s Trashing Downtown Every Night and Why?
Harvey Wasserman
Trump Is No Accident
Behrooz Ghamari Tabrizi
Biden and the Common Sense Voter
Timothy Ingalsbee
Ecosystems, Logging and the Definition of Insanity
Elliot Sperber
The Birds of Brooklyn
June 02, 2020
Zoltan Grossman
Deploying Federal Troops in a War at Home Would Make a Bad Situation Worse
Nicholas Buccola
Amy Cooper is Christian Cooper’s Lost, Younger Sister 
Manuel García, Jr.
Global Warming is Nuclear War
Patrick Cockburn
An Unavoidable Recognition of Failure: Trump’s Withdrawal From Afghanistan
John Feffer
Is It Time to Boycott the USA?
Kathy Kelly
Beating Swords to Plowshares
Lawrence Davidson
U.S. Urban Riots Revisited
Sam Pizzigati
“Failed State” Status Here We Come
Ron Jacobs
In Defense of Antifa
Cesar Chelala
Bolsonaro and Trump: Separated at Birth
George Wuerthner
The BLM’s License to Destroy Sagebrush Ecosystems
Danny Antonelli
The Absurdity of Hope
Binoy Kampmark
Sinister Flatulence: Trump Versus Twitter
John Stanton
How Much Violence and Destruction is Enough for Depraved American Leaders and Their Subjects?
Richard C. Gross
The Enemy Within
Thomas Knapp
Trump’s “Free Speech:” Doctrine: Never, Ever, Ever Mention He’s a Liar
John W. Whitehead
This Is Not a Revolution. It’s a Blueprint for Locking Down the Nation
June 01, 2020
Joshua Frank
It’s a Class War Now Too
Richard D. Wolff
Why the Neoliberal Agenda is a Failure at Fighting Coronavirus
Henry Giroux
Racial Domestic Terrorism and the Legacy of State Violence
Ron Jacobs
The Second Longest War in the United States
Kanishka Chowdhury
The Return of the “Outside Agitator”
Lee Hall
“You Loot; We Shoot”
FacebookTwitterRedditEmail