The Democratic majority in the House of Representatives voted Wednesday to impeach President Donald Trump. They did it because they had the votes to do it, not because the president was guilty of impeachable offenses.
It was the final step in a three-step effort to destroy Donald Trump and his presidency. It began as soon as he was elected, when prominent Democrats announced they were forming the “Resistance” to oppose the new president and everything he stood for.
Trump’s surprise defeat of Hillary Clinton shocked Democratic power brokers, and they vowed revenge. We’ve been seeing the extent to which they’ll go to get it.
They repudiated Trump’s very election, inferring it was somehow illegal, even though he won by an electoral landslide of 304 to 227. Strange that a political party that takes its name from the word “democracy” would show such contempt for it.
Step No. 2 gave us the collusion-with-Russia and obstruction-of-justice lies, both orchestrated by the Democrats, neither of which the Mueller report could substantiate. But the cloud the president was placed under for nearly two years was a major factor in the Republicans losing the House in the 2018 elections, so the Democrats were not without their successes.
Since the first two steps didn’t do it, something else was needed if Trump was going to be brought down. Once Democrats gained control of the House, step No. 3 was clear: impeachment.
That, however, required a truly impeachable offense, but the best Democrats could come up with falls short of that. The president’s phone conversation with the president of Ukraine, which constitutes the first article of impeachment, was another example of Trump’s propensity for firing off every thought that pops into his mind directly to his vocal chords. It was out of line, but hardly rises to the level that triggers the constitutional H-bomb for removing a president from office. The claim that Trump “endangered national security” is absurd.
The second article, relating to the president’s refusal to honor House subpoenas for his aides to testify in the impeachment hearings, is even weaker. The executive branch is co-equal with Congress, and not automatically subject to its demands.
House Democrats are wrapping themselves in the flag as saviors of the nation and defenders of the Constitution. They’re just the opposite. By dumbing down impeachment and adding it to their bag of political tricks, they’ve set an ominous precedent that could poison the political well even more than it already is.
As the Democrats knew, the Senate won’t convict Trump. Their goal all along was to weaken him (and all Republicans) in next year’s elections.
I’m not sure things will work out that way. Polls show that independents take a dim view of impeachment. Add a good number of them to Trump’s base, which will be fired up as never before come November, and some surprises could be in store.