Impeachment

12:59 PM

It’s exactly 12:59 PM on Wednesday, December 18, 2019, as I create the text document that will become this post. As of right now, I don’t know how things turned out.

I haven’t been able to focus on work today, really. I’ve had maybe 2 hours of productivity (sorry, boss). Mostly, I’ve been on the couch in my living room, watching with awe, confusion, and fear as the US House of Representatives debates the articles of impeachment against Donald Trump.

I full believe in and support the impeachment articles put forth by the House Democrats. I believe Donald Trump should be impeached, as well as removed from office.

But as I sit here – it’s 1:03 PM now – one thought haunts me:

No matter what happens, we’re all fucked.

Get ready for a stream of conscious.

We All Know What This is Really About

The Democrats don’t simply want to impeach Donald Trump because of the Ukraine call, nor because of his efforts to stall Congress.

Trump has overstepped and abused the office of the Presidency since day one. He has committed henious crimes against humanity, stoked hatred amongst the American people, and used his status as the highest figure in the United States to do anything and everything to benefit himself over anyone else.

That’s why the Democrats want him gone. That’s why I want him gone.

Trump’s extortion of Ukraine and obstruction of Congress are clear examples of abuses of power and high crimes and misdemeanors. That is a sentence I beleive can exist as a no-qualifiers, period-at-the-end fact. refuse to hear an argument otherwise.

The Democrats want Trump gone on moral grounds. They’re removing him on technical grounds.

This is really about setting an example for both professional and Constitutional conduct by the President of the United States.

This is really about asking if it’s just going to be okay for a President to get “away with murder” from now on.

He Said, She Said

“These are the charges, and this is the proof. He admitted he did it.”

“And as we all know: there is absolutely no proof.”

There. That’s what it was like to watch the live House debate on articles of impeachment against Donald Trump.

(It’s 1:23 PM.)

It must be infuriating to be a Democratic member of Congress right now.

The Republican party spent the better part of Obama’s time in office doing literally everything in their power to stonewall Obama’s agenda. They broke conduct, changed the rules, and simply refused to do their job, if that was what it took. Anything to stop Obama.

Professional hypocrite and living piece of shit Mitch McConnell made it damned clear that his agenda was to stop Obama, and now, just this week, he’s said it’s not his job – as a Senator – to be an impartial juror in a possible Senate trial against the President.

The Republican party doesn’t play by the rules any more. They don’t! It’s blatant, it’s constant, and they do it right out in the open.

This has to be infurating for the Democrats, who spent the better part of the past 9 years losing control to a Republican party that gave less and less care for the Constitutional standards of our country.

And now, here they are, with a solid, legitimate case for impeachment against a President that has committed obvious and proven impeachable offenses, and it’s probably not going to matter what ends up happening.

Outcomes

There are three outcomes in the impeachment of President Trump:

  1. The House votes to impeach today, and the Senate votes in a 2/3 majority to remove Trump from office.
  2. The House votes to impeach, but the Seante does not vote to remove Trump, and he finishes this term in office before seeking re-election.
  3. The House fails to vote to impeach.

(You might be thinking that there’s actually a fourth outcome, and you’re right: Trump could do what Nixon did, and resign from office. But, come on. That’s not Trump, and he has such a strong base of supporters and right-wing media support that there’s he only stands to gain from being impeached but not removed.)

We can cross outcome 3 off at this point, I think (it’s 1:37 PM). The Democrats control a large enough majority in the House of Representatives that by all accounts, barring something drastic happening, Trump will be impeached by the end of the day.

That leaves us two paths whose outcomes rely on a trial in the Senate. The Senate currently sits at a Republican majority, and the 2/3 majority requirement for a vote to pass means there would have to be a dramatic Republican turn against President Trump for him to be formally removed from office.

There’s a slim chance that the Republican party does a complete 180 on their unrelenting support of Donald Trump, should he be impeached, and that could certainly lead to the Senate voting to remove him from office. It’s a slim chance, for sure, but it’s possible.

It’s not likely, though. If the Republican party was ever going to dump Trump, this impeachment inquiry would have been the time to do it. Instead, as I sit here writing and watching the debates, I’m still hearing the same thing from both sides:

The Democrats are talking about what happened, how we know it happened, and expressing their concern with the standard this sets for our country.

The Republicans are lying, deflecting, and downplaying.

The Republicans don’t need the truth. They’ve risen higher in power than ever before by earnestly looking truth in the face, and saying “fuck you”.

Welcome to America.

To Impeach, or Not to Impeach

I believe, as of right now (1:56 PM) that Trump will be formally impeached, but the Senate will not vote to remove him from office.

The ramifications of this would be catastrophic for our country. The Republican party already holds power without facts, but if they could add a failure to remove Trump from office to their arsenal? Oof. Imagine the Trump re-election campaign rallys if Trump’s not removed – “The crooked Democrats tried to bring me down with a sham impeachment, and WE WON!”

Trump’s supporters and the Republican party et large simply no longer care about the facts. The “facts” to them are that the Democrats are wrong, and they are right. They’re not ignorant to the facts, they’ve simply decided that the facts are a liberal bias, and thus they cast them away.

There’s no chance, in my mind, that they will pull an about face in the eleventh hour and do their fucking jobs by removing Donald Trump by office.

But… if they did… would it matter?

Let’s assume these people find their morality, and Donald Trump is removed from office. The only scenario I can see this happening is if the formal impeachment casts such a dark shadow over the public’s view of Donald Trump that the Republicans are forced to distance themselves from him.

The problem, though, is that Congressional Republicans have become so adept at lying that I fully believe people like Mitch McConnell or Jim Jordan could turn their backs on Trump, and claim they never supported the President – despite endless evidence to the contrary.

They’ve already proven themselves to be the party lies. What’s one more big one?

The Republicans would have no issue dumping Trump and telling the American people they never liked him, and I don’t think their base would bat an eye.

The Damage is Already Done

A common line of deflection in these impeachment hearings has been that the Democrats are abusing the impeachment process for political gain; trying to “undo” the 2016 election. Claims that the articles raised against Trump are not “crimes”, and thus are not impeachable, are laughable, because the Constitution doesn’t require impeachable offenses to be federal crimes. An offense does not have to be a crime to be an impeachable offense.

That’s not a partisan view on things, those are the fucking rules.

Members of congress are sworn to protect the Constitution, but the Republican members are acitvely ignoring the Constitution in order to protect the Executive Branch.

There is quite literally no reason to think that the Republicans are going to change the way they conduct themselves, wether or not Trump is removed from office.

Trump being removed from office will simply add fuel to the fire. If he’s removed, the party line becomes: “See!? We told you, the Democrats are evil and out of control - they removed a duly-elected President over nothing!”

If Trump remains in office, the party line becomes: “The crooked Democrats tried and failed to remove a duly-elected President from office.”

Because the Republicans no longer care about facts, this entire process serves to strengthen their position, no matter what happens. I believe that wholehearttedly. In the long term, they have nothing to lose: Vice President Pence becomes President if Trump is removed, leading the GOP to nominate whoever they want in 2020, and that person will be backed by the vicious fires of their base’s anger over the “unjust” impeachment and removal of Trump.

If Trump isn’t removed, he’ll run again in 2020 – there’s no doubt in my mind, at this point (2:38 PM now, holy crap). A Trump campaign backed by a base of supports who saw him face a corrupt and partisan impeachment process and come out alive is only going to strengthen.

Either scenario results in a strong Republican run in the 2020 election, and you know damned well that the Republican party will continue to skirt the rule of law and do whatever they can to bend our electoral process in their favor.

But What Happens Once a Democrat Wins?

So that – in my mind – is what happens as a result of this process: effectively, more of the same. Lies, corruption, siezure of power, and a strengthening of a Republican base that cares about party over country.

But if we assume that the Democrats can actually get their shit together, and focus their weight behind a single, capable, proper candidate, and that candidate wins the next election, what happens?

The answer is obvious, I think: the next Democratic President will be impeached as soon as there is a Republican majority in the House.

I think the Republicans are already planting the seeds, by going on and on about how the Democrats are supposedly diminishing the severity of the impeachment process with this move against Trump. By the time a Democrat holds the Presidency, there will have been a partisan impeachment of a sitting President. The Republicans will be effectively free to use a theoretical House majority to force impeachment hearings, because hey, the other guys did it first.

I’m realizing this might read as me saying that the Democrats shouldn’t be impeaching Trump, so again: he needs to be impeached and removed. I think this is still the right thing to do. But there are going to be consequences, and that’s simply because of the conduct of the Republican party over the past decade.

Impeachment is about to become a political weapon.

The fact that we’re mere hours away from an impeachment vote on clear and defined abuses of power and the Republicans are still trying to claim nothing happened, shows that this country has become split between those who want to the country to be run by the Constitution, and those who want to run the country.

2:52 PM

I’m not really sure if I managed to clearly articulate my feelings here. It’s possible this is a topic too complex for me to accurately write about. This is sort of a big deal.

I guess I’m just trying to look forward. How is this moment going to affect the United States of America going forward? What is going to happen to our political system? This moment is going to define the power of the Presidency moving forward, and will set the moral bar that all Presidents, of any political party, must rise to.

I just hope we, as a country, can set the bar high enough.