Yeah, It's Now O'Clock Time For Pelosi & Democrats To Impeach President Treason
Nancy Pelosi used to be the badass lady in charge. There were memes and everything. People sold t-shirts. It was us. But that was a long time ago -- about eight months -- and y'all liberals are fickle. Now the House Speaker is weak and actively complicit in Donald Trump's diverse criminal portfolio. There's been grumblings and complaints on social media, but Friday, unfettered badass Elizabeth Warren delivered a public smackdown and call to action.
Warren's referring to news that Trump asked a foreign power to do him a solid and help him win a presidential campaign ... again. It's not a shock that he would double dip the same (alleged) crime. He admits it! After 2016, Democrats didn't really give Trump the "run and hide, asshole" speech from Ocean's Eleven. They preferred to run and hide themselves, which isn't the best deterrent. That's not entirely Pelosi's fault. Her caucus isn't just the badasses from the Squad. She also has to consider the moderate Democrats who flipped seats in red districts. They're trying to stay below the radar and not draw attention to themselves. They're like that lobster in the tank at the restaurant from a Jerry Seinfeld routine: "Me? I just clean up around here. I'm not a Democrat. Don't worry."
Pennsylvania Rep. Susan Wild is one of many moderate Democrats who isn't "ready for impeachment." Wild's district isn't even that red. Hillary Clinton beat Trump there by one point and Wild enjoyed a 10-point victory in 2018. She explained her non-position to constituents at a recent town hall.
WILD: You don't want to try a case where the facts are not all lined up and you're not ready with the evidence you're going to introduce. I don't believe we are there at this point in time, and that's why I have not come out to say that I think we should be moving forward with impeachment.
This doesn't sound like a lady who's impeaching anybody anywhere at any time. Wild is a former prosecutor and apparently she only pursued cases where the suspect showed up at the police station covered in blood. Those are usually a slam dunk. Trump hasn't gone that far but he does like to periodically confess to his crimes on social media and national television.
House Democrats might seem useless right now but that's an improvement from a GOP majority that kept trying to take away our health care or blow up the deficit with tax cuts for rich people. Useless has its upside. But once you have a house, you're not content for long with mere protection from the elements. You'd like some furniture, maybe even cable TV. This is why some people with short attention spans have declared that it's not worth having the House at all if we're not going to hold Trump accountable.
The government shutdown was the "brief shining moment" when it looked like Pelosi would spank Trump and send him to his room for the next couple years. But the shutdown was a common Ted Cruz move and Pelosi had the upper hand. It played to her strengths. Trump the gangster is unprecedented territory. He's stealing funds to throw money at the WALL. Even Ronald Reagan funded the Contras in secret once Congress said nah, because everyone agreed that would be against the law. Democrats talk about "congressional oversight" and he just laughs in their faces. Corey Lewandowski shows up, tells everyone to go fuck themselves, and someone, somewhere, says they might begin to think about considering the initial steps toward holding him in contempt. Someday maybe.
House Democrats are very nervous about impeachment. You'd think it's a politically safe option against a historically unpopular president. A recent poll showed that 69 percent of voters personally dislike Trump. (Nice.) Networks swiftly cancel programs with ratings this low. They don't hem and haw or absurdly suggest that if enough people don't watch a show, it'll "cancel itself." I've previously supported the idea of simply defeating Trump (and Pence) at the ballot box, but Trump must've caught wind of that plan because he's actively trying to rig the election! And skittish Democrats aren't going to suddenly grow a spine if Trump is "re-elected." No, we'll be advised to "move on" because the American people have spoken (more or less).
However, Pelosi is absolutely right that she's not Mama Congress. Republicans -- the ones elected to shit, not the ones pontificating on "Morning Joe" -- are fully in the tank for Trump. They'll argue it's a partisan hit job, and Joe Biden's personal involvement in the Ukraine situation only helps fuel that twisted narrative. Conversely, Democrats should finally accept that Republicans are garbage and move forward without a bipartisan safety net. Nothing is going to convince the GOP to behave honorably. Anyone who says otherwise has binge-watched too much "West Wing."
When Warren calls Congress "complicit," she's describing the entire leadership, which includes GOP leaders Kevin McCarthy, Steve Scalise, and Liz Cheney. They are unwavering in their support for Trump. If you're seen The Godfather, you'd know there's a reason Sollozzo tried to take out Don Corleone when he believed Sonny was "hot" for his deal. Tactically, it makes sense to strike when you see weakness in the opposing ranks. Pelosi's caution is warranted. But now she has to go to the mattresses. You can't let Trump wipe his ass with the Constitution and think it'll end with him. It's one thing to wait for the next election when we were talking about Trump's old (alleged) crimes. Now he's committing brand new ones. Jesus Christ could be the next president and he'd start thinking, "Hey, maybe I can tell Congress to go fuck themselves! Get Ukraine on the phone. I'm never leaving."
Several op-eds have argued that it's long past time for House Democrats to impeach with extreme prejudice. There's evidence that Democratic leadership is no longer hedging its bets and is prepared to move on Trump like a ... you know. If so, I think it's a good thing that Pelosi sent so many bills to the Senate for McConnell to bury in his "legislative graveyard." Republicans are already claiming that Democrats are so obsessed with the white whale in chief they have "ignored American families." Pelosi is prepared to send Democrats out to campaign with receipts.
Democrats can't repeal and replace Trump for as long as Republicans exist, but they can make life uncomfortable for him. And we can still focus on ensuring Republicans don't control any branch of government. You have to stand up to bullies even if you might get your ass kicked.
What's that? It's your OPEN THREAD.
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Stephen Robinson is a writer and social kibbitzer based in Portland, Oregon. He's on the board of the Portland Playhouse theater and writes for the immersive theater Cafe Nordo in Seattle. Tickets are on sale now for his latest Nordo collaboration, "Curiouser and Curiouser," an adaptation of "Alice's Adventures in Wonderland" and "Through the Looking Glass." It promises to feel like an actual evening with SER (for good or for ill).